When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Already a subscriber? Log in .

You've reached your limit of one free article.

Get unlimited access to Worldcrunch

You can cancel anytime .


Exclusive International news coverage

Ad-free experience NEW

Weekly digital Magazine NEW

9 daily & weekly Newsletters

Access to Worldcrunch archives

Free trial

30-days free access, then $2.90
per month.

Annual Access BEST VALUE

$19.90 per year, save $14.90 compared to monthly billing.save $14.90.

Subscribe to Worldcrunch

Turning A Refugee Camp Into A Golf Resort

Fields of green
Fields of green
Olivier Ducuing

CALAIS – Jacques Gounon is very happy. The CEO of the Eurotunnel Group has just announced the launch of a huge real-estate project in Sangatte, on France's northern coast.

If the name rings a bell to newspaper readers, it is because Sangatte is where up until 2002, there was a massive refugee center, housing asylum seekers trying to get into the UK via the Channel Tunnel. The Eurotunnel Group holds the concession to operate the Channel Tunnel until 2086.

Refugees near Sangatte in June 2002 - Source: Sangatte, 10 ans qu"ça se gâte : faut qu"ça change

The new 160-hectare resort will comprise of 40 hectares of residential accommodation and hotels, a spa, retail area and a 121-hectare international tournament standard golf course built by Kyle Phillips. It is strategically located right next to the Channel tunnel and very easy to access (five minutes away from the main highways) and geared toward British clients, who are known golf enthusiasts.

Gounon qualifies his project as a “costal eco-village” that will promote sustainable development. For instance, the resort will recycle heat from the Channel Tunnel and produce green energy using grass mowed on the golf course.

[rebelmouse-image 27086553 alt="""" original_size="640x449" expand=1]

Source: Ecodunord

The project will cost 161 million euros – not including the golf course – 29 million of which will be invested by Eurotunnel. The group has announced that it was going to open tenders to local companies to boost the local economy. Gounon hopes that the first part of the project will be finished in 2015-2016, but says “the number of administrative obstacles to turn this into a quality project are absolutely extravagant.” Nearby, the Eurotunnel Group has already built the Cité Europe, one of the biggest shopping malls in Europe, which employs 2,500 people.

Everyone is not happy with the group’s voracious appetite in the region. Eurotunnel’s purchase of assets from liquidated operator SeaFrance created worries in the local economy where cross-Channel crossings are a vital element. With its purchase of SeaFrance ferries, which it now leases to MyFerryLink, the Eurotunnel Group has become a dominant player in an already crowded cross-Channel transport market. French competition authorities approved the deal, but that is not the case of the UK Competition Commission, whose preliminary report said that MyFerryLink created “a substantial lessening of competition” in the market.

The group also won in 2010 a seven-year license to operate the port of Dunkirk’s 200-kilometer railway system but last month, abandoned its bid for the ports of Calais and Boulogne.

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Black Sea Survivor: Tale Of A Ukrainian Special Agent Thrown Overboard In Enemy Waters

This is a tale of a Ukrainian special forces operator who wound up surviving 14 hours at sea, staying afloat and dodging Russian air and sea patrols.

Black Sea Survivor: Tale Of A Ukrainian Special Agent Thrown Overboard In Enemy Waters

Looking at the Black Sea in Odessa, Ukraine.

Rustem Khalilov and Roksana Kasumova

KYIV — During a covert operation in the Black Sea, a Ukrainian special agent was thrown overboard and spent the next 14 hours alone at sea, surrounded by enemy forces.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

The agent, who uses the call-sign "Conan," agreed to speak to Ukrainska Pravda, to share the details of nearly being lost forever at sea. He also shared some background on how he arrived in the Ukrainian special forces. Having grown up in a village in a rural territory of Ukraine, Conan describes himself as "a simple guy."

He'd worked in law enforcement, personal security and had a job as a fitness trainer when Russia launched its full-scale invasion on Feb. 24, 2022. That's when he signed up with the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Main Directorate of Intelligence "Artan" battalion. It was nearly 18 months into his service, when Conan faced the most harrowing experience of the war. Here's his first-hand account:

Keep reading...Show less

The latest