Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

The highs and lows of Cannes for the critics

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Remembering our friend and colleague Jean Karim Fall

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Bad diplomacy, brawls & bromance

Read more

ENCORE!

Cannes 2017: Pitch Perfect's Brittany Snow becomes an urban warrior

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

US President wraps up world tour in Italy (Part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

US President wraps up world tour in Italy (Part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

The battle against illegal fishing in West Africa

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Trump has already quit the Paris climate deal - just not publicly

Read more

#TECH 24

The Ice Memory Project: A treasure trove for future scientists

Read more

REPORTERS

An in-depth report by our senior reporters and team of correspondents from around the world. Every Saturday at 9.10 pm Paris time. Or you can catch it online from Friday.

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

2017-05-26 Middle East

Exclusive: Inside the battle for Mosul, chaos on the ground

For more than seven months, Iraqi forces have been conducting a major offensive to rout the Islamic State group from Mosul. But the jihadists are putting up fierce resistance...

Read more

2017-05-18 Asia-pacific

Video: India's battle against 'superbugs'

It’s the gravest healthcare threat facing humanity. The World Health Organization has estimated that antibiotic resistance, or ‘superbugs’ as these bacteria have come to be...

Read more

2017-05-12 Middle East

How natural gas could be a geopolitical game-changer in the Mideast

It's a discovery that could easily shake up the geopolitical order in the Middle East. Deep under the eastern Mediterranean lies the largest natural gas basin ever found on...

Read more

2017-05-04 Asia-pacific

Forced into exile: The plight of the Rohingyas

There are more than 1.3 million Rohingya people in the world. Although they have lived in Burma for more than two centuries, this Muslim minority is not among those officially...

Read more

2017-04-28 Spain

The booming business of cannabis in Spain

In Spain, thanks to the success of the "clubs" that have cropped up since 2011, cannabis has become a gold mine. From by-products such as cannabis lollipops and drinks, to...

Read more