Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

WEB NEWS

Concerns grow as hobby drone use increases

Read more

WEB NEWS

Buffalo residents share stunning images of the snowstorm

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Senegalese photographer's flashbacks to Africans throughout history

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Hollande photographed with Julie Gayet on Elysée Palace balcony

Read more

REVISITED

Is Beirut still haunted by ghosts of the civil war?

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Band Aid 30 - Hit or Miss? Bob Geldof in Hot Water over Ebola Single

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Deal or No Deal with Iran? Home Stretch to Reach Historic Agreement

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Football scandals: The ugly side of the beautiful game

Read more

#THE 51%

Ending violence against women: The dangers of trial by Twitter

Read more

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 8.40 pm Paris time.

REPORTERS

REPORTERS

Latest update : 2010-10-22

France: outsiders in their own country

After three months of controversy, France 24 offers you a different look at Gypsies and Roma people. Our reporter Hélène Frade visited a suburb of Paris, where teachers go to makeshift camps to meet their pupils.

It all begins in the middle of the summer, in Saint-Aignan, a sleepy village in the Loir-et-Cher region. One July evening, a young man from the Gypsy community is killed while trying to force a gendarmes’ roadblock. For his loved ones, the news is unacceptable. In their anger, they sack several shops as well as the gendarmerie of Saint-Aignan.

At the height of summer, this local news story takes on unforeseen proportions. Brice Hortefeux, the French interior minister, kicks things off. He expresses surprise at seeing “cars with powerful engines” on makeshift camps of the Gypsies, often an underprivileged community. The implication is clear.

President Sarkozy takes over during his speech on security in Grenoble on July 30th. He simultaneously talks of Gypsies and Roma people - a nomadic population having moved from Eastern Europe, mainly Romania and Bulgaria.

In the space of a few days, the events in Loir-et-Cher become the problem of a whole community, a community which is then assimilated with a foreign population.

Everything starts to move very fast, and as often happens in such cases, the media coverage is disproportionate.

After a few weeks, it becomes almost impossible to enter into contact not only with Gypsies but also with Roma people. The communities are exasperated with and frightened by the sudden pressure they have become subject to.

I decide to approach the story differently. My goal is to understand why these two communities have now found themselves not only associated with the problems of insecurity and delinquency, but also associated with each other.

After a few days, I discover the existence of an NGO, Aset, which helps Gypsy children receive an education. These teachers work alongside Gypsies and Roma people from Eastern Europe. They reach out to them, and they will be the key to filming my report.

By Hélène FRADE

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2014-11-21 National Front party (France)

France’s National Front in the spotlight

With the National Front on the rise in France, our reporters returned to three towns where the far-right party’s mayoral candidates won the most recent local elections.

Read more

2014-11-14 Somalia

Somaliland: A would-be nation state

In the eyes of the international community, Somaliland is an autonomous region in Somalia, on the Horn of Africa. But most of its 3.5 million inhabitants do not consider the...

Read more

2014-11-07 Liberia

Liberia: The daily threat of Ebola

Liberia is one of the countries most affected by the outbreak of Ebola, along with Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Read more

2014-10-31 Mexico

USA - Mexico: A danger-ridden border

It’s one of the most porous borders in the world. Each month, abetted by smugglers working with drug cartels, thousands of Hispanic immigrants try to cross the frontier between...

Read more

2014-10-24 Spain

Why does Catalonia want to leave Spain?

On November 9, 2014, Catalans were due to vote in a referendum on independence. But the poll was cancelled by the Constitutional Court after Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s...

Read more