Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

French presidential election: Over 40% remain undecided

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

ICC orders Congo warlord germain Katanga to pay victims

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trumpcare Falls Before First Hurdle

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Westminster Attack, Abadi in Washington (part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Obamacare, Europe's Unholy Alliances, Martin McGuinness (part 2)

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Export bans hit Brazil amid tainted meat scandal

Read more

#TECH 24

Inside Netflix's war room

Read more

FOCUS

French Catholic voters remain faithful to scandal-hit Fillon

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Growing ambitions: The forces driving India's economy

Read more

France

French government deports hundreds more Roma

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-08-26

France's controversial deportations of Roma migrants continued apace on Thursday as Romanian officials discussed the French government's crackdown on illegal immigrants during talks in Paris.

AFP - Nearly 300 Roma packed by France on two chartered planes and expelled to Romania arrived in Bucharest Thursday, as part of the French government's campaign to dismantle unauthorised camps.

Carrying heavy bags, the Roma men, women and children disembarked at Bucharest's Aurel Vlaicu airport, some of them covering their faces in order not to be recognized.

"For three months I could find no job, so I decided to come back to Romania," Ion Stancu, 52, told AFP.

"But, my God, what will I do for a living now, with eight grandsons to feed," he added, tears in his eyes.

"The police told us we could choose between leaving now, on our own accord, or be expelled by force later," said a young man, who would not be identified.

"So we agreed to leave" with the 300 euros per adult and 100 per child offered by the French authorities as an incentive.

But Iulian Stoian of the Roma Civic Alliance said "sending back groups of people allegedly on a voluntary basis is a violation of European legislation."

"The money they give in exchange is more like a bribe aimed at convincing people to leave," he told AFP, stressing "this has been going on for years, although it is illegal."

The deportations come after President Nicolas Sarkozy, citing concerns about crime, began a high-profile crackdown on Roma, Gypsies and travelling people that saw police rounding up foreign Roma and tearing down illegal camps.

The 284 Roma sent back to Bucharest Thursday bring the total number of Romanian and Bulgarian Roma deported so far this year to 8,313, against 7,875 expelled throughout last year.

The crackdown has sparked fierce criticism at home and abroad.

The Vatican said "one cannot generalise and take an entire group of people and kick them out," while a UN panel warned of mounting racism and xenophobia in France.

The European Union said it was reviewing whether the crackdown was legal.

Date created : 2010-08-26

  • DIPLOMACY

    France and Romania agree to cooperate on Roma

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Pope joins other priests in opposing Sarkozy's Roma policy

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Roma families in France face uncertain future

    Read more

COMMENT(S)