Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Ridin' the Rails

The French taxpayer gets the bill:
The French government is to pay Eurotunnel 24 million euros (38 million dollars) in compensation for break-ins by illegal immigrants who used its rail link to cross from France and Britain, the company said Tuesday.

The Channel tunnel operator had claimed damages of 53 million euros from France for delays caused by migrants based at a Red Cross centre in Sangattein northern France between 2000 to 2002.

It also challenged bills from the British authorities for the cost of detaining and returning illegal immigrants who arrived via the tunnel.

A special arbitration court in The Hague ruled in favour of the companylast year.

Eurotunnel chairman Jacques Gounon told a press conference the group had reached a settlement with the French government for compensation of 24 million euros, with an accord to be signed shortly.

It also said Britain had agreed to the principle of a settlement, with negotiations to begin soon.

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