Following a meeting at the Ministry of Transport in Paris on 20th July, with the participation of SCOP SeaFrance, Groupe Eurotunnel and DFDS Seaways, it was announced that the blockade in Calais would be lifted and the port re-opened fully from 12 noon CET on 21st July, albeit with two occupied MyFerryLink ships still blocking two berths.
DFDS resumed sailings to Calais from Dover at 1015 on 21st July but it was not long until rent-a-mob began their unlawful actions once again. On 27th July DFDS suspended sailings again after a distress flare was deliberately thrown at a ferry in Calais. Sailings resumed again at 0730 on 28th July following constructive round table talks hosted by the French Secretary of State for Transport. A short blockade of the harbour entrance has also been staged during the ongoing protests.
A works council and a general meeting of employees of SeaFrance SCOP held on 31st July produced the decision to maintain their presence on board the Berlioz and Rodin which they had occupied since 2nd July. The SCOP is bankrupt, the charter of the ferries to DFDS is perfectly legal yet this situation is allowed to continue.
Then there is the migrant issue that has seriously affected Channel Tunnel traffic (when SCOP members aren’t blockading it) with the result being the Port of Dover handling one million ferry passengers in 5 weeks between 29th June and 4th august. Together with over 200,000 cars and 6,000 coaches, the Port of Dover was able to send one million holidaymakers on their way to the European continent, quite an achievement under the circumstances.
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