The migrant crisis in Ventimiglia, the 'new Calais' on the French-Italian border

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French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve and his British counterpart Theresa May met in Calais on Thursday to announce new joint security measures to prevent thousands of migrants in the Channel port from reaching England. While the desperate situation in Calais has become the focus of headlines, the similar, less-reported plight of growing numbers of migrants blocked at France’s south-eastern border with Italy now threatens to erupt into a major crisis. Louise Fessard reports from the Italian border town of Ventimiglia.

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According to figures released by the prefecture of the Alpes-Maritime département (equivalent to a county) in south-east France, 1,178 foreign nationals were arrested for illegal entry into France between August 10th and August 16th. Among them were 600 Sudanese, 150 Afghans, 110 Pakistanis and 110 Eritreans.