Tags: EU France Roma Expulsions

EU Tries To Stop France's Crackdown on Roma Gypsies

Saturday, 11 Sep 2010 12:41 PM



They are the underclass, the outcasts, but over the past few weeks, the Roma — who make up Europe's largest minority — have been the center of attention, Time magazine reports, because of France's recent program of forcibly sending them back to their home countries.

Amid criticism from the international community and even some from within his own government, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has forged ahead with the expulsions, so far sending almost 1,000 Roma migrants (also called Gypsies) back to Bulgaria and Romania — and inspiring several other European countries to take similar steps.

The European Union had stayed quiet until this week, when it made the rare move of publicly rebuking France. On Thursday, Sept. 9, in a resolution that was passed by 337 votes to 245, the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) told Paris to "immediately suspend all expulsions of Roma," saying they "amounted to discrimination."
(See if France is courting xenophobes.)

Although their demands are not legally binding, the MEPs said that "mass expulsions are prohibited" under E.U. law, "since they amount to discrimination on the basis of race and ethnicity." Belgian MEP and former Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt said it was unacceptable for politicians to be "tempted by populist, racist and xenophobic policies," while German MEP Martin Schulz, head of the Parliament's powerful socialist group, lamented, "The country that gave us liberté, égalité and fraternité has taken a different, regrettable path today."



Read the entire story at time.com

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Saturday, 11 Sep 2010 12:41 PM
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