(archive picture shows refugees in the Maximiliaanpark)

Maximiliaan Park evacuated, dozens of immigrants sent elsewhere

The Brussels Maximiliaan Park was evacuated last night. Versions of why this happened now, are slightly different depending on the source. 

Police staged a sweep last night, sending about 100 refugees packing. They were sent to accommodation provided by the local social service Samusocial. The news was announced by a civil platform that supports the refugees on Facebook, and it was confirmed by the cabinet of Brussels Mayor Philippe Close.

Mehdi Kassou, spokesman of the civil platform, writes on Facebook that the park was evacuated and that this will happen on more occasions in the run-up to the Tour de France passage in Brussels (the world's biggest cycling event comes to the capital for the so-called Grand Départ as from Thursday, when the different teams are being presented).  

However, the Mayor has a different version. He says that the action had been prepared for 8 weeks with the Bravvo prevention service. "We keep looking for a balance between the two groups suffering from this: the refugees for whom we try to seek a humane solution and who we want to offer a decent bed, and on the other hand the local residents who want things to return to normal in and around the park." 

 Nobody was arrested. About 100 people were offered a place to sleep. The civil platform was asking its members to try and step in and offer the refugees private accommodation.