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  1. #1
    Starcrossed Seafarer Aquarelle's Avatar
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    Default France Expells Foreign-Born Roma (Gypsies) from Country

    PARIS (AFP) – France defied mounting international criticism of its crackdown on Roma and Gypsy minorities on Friday, sending another planeload back to eastern Europe.

    As the French opposition accused President Nicolas Sarkozy's government of "state racism" and Romania expressed concern, a Blue Air flight left Paris with around 130 Roma on board, headed for Timisoara in western Romania.
    Police had escorted three busloads of Roma -- men, women and children carrying plastic bags and hessian sacks -- into Charles de Gaulle airport in vehicles registered in the Paris suburbs or southwest France.

    Speaking in Washington, French Immigration Minister Eric Besson said these Roma -- who follow 86 who left on Thursday -- were leaving France on "a voluntary basis" in exchange for grants of 300 euros (385 dollars) per person.

    But any foreign-born Roma caught up in Sarkozy's crackdown on illegal Gypsy camps who refuses to take a flight will be issued orders to leave France within a month, without the handout.

    Romania's President Traian Basescu said Thursday the expulsions showed the need for a European plan to integrate travelling communities while his Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi has warned against "xenophobic reactions".

    Romanian government sources warned Friday that if Paris resorted to mass non-voluntary deportations Bucharest would take the matter up with the European Commission and other "competent bodies."

    On Friday, the Vatican joined the chorus of criticism of the crackdown.
    "One cannot generalise and take an entire group of people and kick them out," said Agostino Marchetto, secretary of the papacy's Commission for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People.

    "The mass expulsions of Roma are against European norms," he told AFP.
    Although Romanian and Bulgarian Roma are European Union citizens, France has reserved the right until 2014 to bar immigrants from newer member states from the jobs market and to expel them after three months.

    There are few border controls within the Union, however, and many of those expelled are expected to return.

    "Of course I'm thinking about returning to France. Life is better than in Romania," 26-year-old Ionut Balasz told reporters as he arrived in Romania among the first group that were expelled.

    France expelled around 10,000 Roma to Romania and Bulgaria last year, but the flights this week are the first since Sarkozy announced a tough law and order crackdown that explicitly linked crime and immigration.

    Besson said 850 would be expelled in August, describing the drive as speeding up a process that was under way in any case.

    "It's just that the dismantling (of camps) that has taken place and is ongoing this August has led to an acceleration of a process that is already structural, recurrent," he explained.

    While Besson appeared to be playing down the significance of the operation, the expulsions follow a high-profile bid by Sarkozy to recapture his image with voters as strong on law and order.

    Police squads have carried out a series of raids across the country, targeting unauthorised camps of both Roma from Eastern Europe and of French-born Gypsies and travellers.

    A special team of tax inspectors has been set up to investigate the incomes of these minority groups, who rarely work in the formal sector and whom many in France associate with criminality and begging.

    Sarkozy's minister for families, Nadine Morano, reflected this attitude on Thursday when she accused some Gypsy mothers of drugging their infants to keep them sleepy while families sit begging by the roadside.

    "We should not accept this kind of behaviour," she told Europe 1 radio.
    Socialist opposition lawmaker Arnaud Montebourg condemned Morano's comment, accusing the state of smearing a minority in the same way as French Jews had been stigmatised in the 1930s before World War II.

    "We're coming to a kind of official racism that says: 'These people are the cause of all our woes, please have a go at them and forget our own failure in the fight against crime'," he charged.

    While France has received some international support -- notably from Italy's right-wing Northern League party, part of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's coalition -- many have expressed concern.

    Earlier this month a United Nations expert panel warned of mounting racism and xenophobia in France, and human rights groups have sounded the alarm.
    France defies critics to push on with Roma expulsions - Yahoo! News

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  2. #2
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    It is in violation of the EU statutes of liberty of movement. Pure racism.

  3. #3
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildcat View Post
    It is in violation of the EU statutes of liberty of movement. Pure racism.
    You can move through all you want, but for long term stay you need to be employed.
    Those more fimiliar with EU law feel free to correct me.
    Listen to me, baby, you got to understand, you're old enough to learn the makings of a man.

  4. #4
    Senior Member InsatiableCuriosity's Avatar
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    France seems to be becoming quite phobic about other cultures isn't it? Is France a member of the European Union? If so, isn't migration from other EU member countries allowed?
    "Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible."
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  5. #5
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edgar View Post
    You can move through all you want, but for long term stay you need to be employed.
    Those more fimiliar with EU law feel free to correct me.
    There is no such statute that says that you have to be employed.

  6. #6
    Senior Member wildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InsatiableCuriosity View Post
    France seems to be becoming quite phobic about other cultures isn't it? Is France a member of the European Union? If so, isn't migration from other EU member countries allowed?
    It was already a member of the Steel Union, that is, it is a founder member of EU. Migration is allowed from other EU countries. Today France seems to interpret the freedom of movement concerns only the rich, or the people of Frankish or other Germanic origin.

  7. #7
    Senior Member InsatiableCuriosity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildcat View Post
    It was already a member of the Steel Union, that is, it is a founder member of EU. Migration is allowed from other EU countries. Today France seems to interpret the freedom of movement concerns only the rich, or the people of Frankish or other Germanic origin.
    What is that old quote? "pride goeth before a fall"

    That sounds a lot like the old proletariat vs bourgeoisie again???
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  8. #8
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Well...it's Roma. I mean, their concept of society is based on stealing and leaving. I do agree that they're still human beings, but I can't see anything wrong if they're mistreated by whatever nation they find themselves in. Still, I find it somewhat laughable that they're trying to talk about "foreign-born" Romas, as if they really can be considered as having a peculiar nationality.

    France seems to be becoming quite phobic about other cultures isn't it? Is France a member of the European Union? If so, isn't migration from other EU member countries allowed?
    Yeah, but I gather you don't have experience with Romas? France has a large, extremely large (possibly the largest among European countries, excepting UK) immigrant population - both first, second and third generation - yet they've never had to expel any of those.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    It could amount to nothing more than an expensive stunt since deporting them will cost a lot and they could simply just come back to the country, if they are EU citizens or in an EU state they are free to move around between EU member states.

    I'll bet they are hoping that maybe once some of them are some place else they will choose to stay there, a lot of the former travelling communities of Europe are more settled these days, like trailer park populations in the US.

    Something called Welfare Tourism is a big problem within the European Union, particularly in states which are jumping off ports of non-EU nationals or where the state is actually quite generous in dispensing benefits, for populations or publics which really support taxation and spend economics, including benefits, the abuse of the welfare regime can cause real anger, especially by drifters or outsiders.

  10. #10
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    I'm thinking with all of these illegals, both in France and in the US, we need to go back to more medieval types of punishments and put those results on display in some way. If rational, sensible penalties aren't working, then perhaps it's time to up the ante here and drive fear into the hearts of would be illegal immigrants.
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