Because the go was closed in January 2021, to fight unlawful immigration and the terrorist risk, the crossing time between the 2 sides of the Catalan Pyrenees has doubled.
The anger doesn’t go down. On either side of the Catalan Pyrenees, the inhabitants is demanding the reopening of the street linking Spain and France. A closure intervened throughout the framework of the battle in opposition to terrorism and to cut back unlawful immigration however which significantly impacts the lifetime of the area. This 11 km street now closed, the time to cross the border has been multiplied by two.
Earlier than the closure, many Spaniards crossed the border day-after-day to work in France. The French have been additionally used to going the other method, particularly to replenish on cigarettes or alcohol, merchandise which are extra reasonably priced in Spain, particularly within the border areas.
On this French wine-growing area, the necessity for labor is excessive, particularly throughout the harvest. Spain has lengthy acted as a reservoir for seasonal employees throughout this era. The closure of the Col de Banyuls has discouraged numerous southern Catalans from crossing the border to return and work within the vineyards of the Alberts massif. “ Many cellars are understaffed, which makes the harvest sophisticated.“, explains to Figaro Sandrine Pubill member ofAlberts with out borders, an affiliation that requires the reopening of the cervix.
The masonry sector can be affected, Spanish masons from Espolla – a Spanish city 15 minutes by automobile, earlier than the crossing was closed – who labored in French corporations have resigned due to the for much longer journey.
Collaboration with Spain extra sophisticated
For the encircling municipalities on the Col de Banyuls, the closure of the border can be worrying when it comes to safety. The area has been hit laborious by this 12 months’s distinctive drought which has elevated the chance of fires in an space already susceptible to flames. A state of affairs that worries the mayor of Banyuls-sur-Mer, Jean-Michel Solet, fierce opponent of the closure of the go: “ If the Banyuls-sur-Mer firefighters should intervene on a violent hearth, they will now not depend on the quick assist of their Spanish colleagues.“. To intervene, the firefighters would take 1h20 to cross the border, in line with Jean-Michel Solet.
A robust image for the area
One other object of dispute: the historic facet of the passage of the Col de Banyuls. “ What issues most to individuals is the symbolic facet of this place which is historically a street of passage“, explains Jean-Michel Solet. The Banyuls go is acknowledged as “one of many paths to freedom». A label that designates passages within the Pyrenees that have been utilized by Spanish Republicans to flee Francoism.
“ I’m a granddaughter of a Spanish Republican if this passage had been closed I’d not be right here“, explains Sandrine Pubill earlier than including: “ The passage was open underneath the Franco dictatorship now it’s closed underneath the French Republic“. French resistance fighters and Jews fleeing Nazism in 1944 additionally took the Banyuls go.
A closure to battle terrorism
On November 5, 2020, Emmanuel Macron was in trip to the Col de Perthusone other Franco-Spanish crossing level within the Pyrénées-Orientales. A go to in a context the place terrorist assaults have been multiplying all through Europe. France was barely recovering from the assault on the basilica of Nice. The President of the Republic stated to himself “favorable“to a refoundation”in depth» guidelines governing the Schengen space.
Virtually a 12 months later, the prefect of the Pyrénées-Orientales, Étienne Stoskopf, prohibited the passage in 5 border roads together with the Col de Banyuls. The request for reopening was not accepted. “As if rocks have been going to stop passing», Annoys Jean-Michel Solet. Contacted, the prefecture didn’t reply to our request. In observe, the rocks are satisfactory for pedestrians and bicycles.