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I find this rather difficult to understand. I know that local authorities in France have been required to set up sites for "travellers": and that many haven't. However, quite a few HAVE done so, so I really don't understand why the stories below keep happening:

http://www.midilibre.fr/2012/07/20/pression-judiciaire-sur-les-gens-du-voyage,536665.php

http://www.midilibre.fr/2012/07/20/les-gens-du-voyage-a-nouveau-convoques,536596.php

In the second case, there is already a large site set aside, with facilities, but instead these groups go and spoil other property.

The other issue is that despite the groups saying that they are on an evangelical mission, from what I have seen, up close and personal, of their behaviour is far from that which I would expect from "evangelists" of ANY persuasion (eg threatening behaviour, actual bodily harm, damage to property and vehicles, etc).

Are these people really trying to spread the word of some god or are they freeloading barstewards? They manage to bring out the Daily Mail side of me ...

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Oh, I don't know, sounds like fairly typical evangelical behaviour to me.

Our local site seems to be used in a very odd way - it is full for two or three months and then empty/nearly so for another couple of months.  I guess they're down your way picking fruit or something, Pickles?

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This is a recurrent problem as Pickles says, and what I find hard to understand is how the authorities don't seem able to track and anticipate. Surely a wagon train of these vehicles doesn't just materialise like the Tardis?

Of all the different cultural groups round here this is the one the police seem least able to get to grips with.

We have several families who have now been permanently installed in the quarter, and it can be quite scary if there is something going on like a funeral of one of them  or someone  in Hospital, as their natural behaviour is group solidarity, and there are often several large families around with a vaguely menacing feeling to them.

On one occasion last year I went for a check up  and there were at least 20 people waiting around the entrance to the building, others occupying all the chairs in the waiting room, and a nurse told me that the person who was in hospital had 6 visitors continually changing.

At a funeral  at the church in the square nearby there was a funeral last year, and there were 6 vans of police monitoring proceedings.!

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We had two small discrete sites near us. Pleasant and wooded, and looked like a very good camp site. I have no idea who owned them, and suspect that the gens de voyage did. Sometimes no one was in either, but often at least one of the sites was in use. We never ever had any problems. In fact we had more problems when la vogue was in our area.
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Well, as I've mentioned on here before, Idun, we had two 'vans on the field next to us in Kent : a man and his wife plus his widowed daughter and her daughter.  They were far better neighbours than the money-grubbing old **w who bought the field from him afterwards and proceeded to fence our house in totally with an 8' high close-boarded fence to prevent us from looking at the dobbins she put on the land the travellers had formerly occupied. 

Yes, I think you could fairly have described the bloke as a bit of a rogue but they were great neighbours - always friendly and helpful to us and they kept their site spotless.

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If the groups that come down to the L-R every summer treated the grounds that they invaded with respect, and cleaned up after themselves, and were not a nuisance to their neighbours, as Idun and Coops found, there would be much less of an issue: but when they don't, year after year, and refuse to use the sites provided for them, then I find it rather difficult to have any sympathy. Last year one group invaded the light aircraft aerodrome overrun area at Montpellier - preventing the use of the airfield. Another group invaded sports pitches and left the place littered with broken glass - nice!

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2 weeks ago there was an influx of about 60 (the same number) of travellers caravans to a site in Mirande, which the council had carefully set aside for visitors to the Country Festival, due to start on the following Thursday.

Eventually they forced them to move on to their allocated site in Auch, but they weren't happy about it.

Their spokesman said something like," you let the english and the germans come to the festival, but we, who are french, are not allowed?"

This was reported in the Depeche du Midi.

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