Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

20 years of Harry Potter

Read more

THE DEBATE

Modi meets Trump: The ties that bind US and India leaders

Read more

FOCUS

Left-wing activism on the rise in the United States

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

'Huge failure' on refugee crisis is 'existential problem for EU'

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Divisions over migration policy: What should the EU do?

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

A trip through France's breathtaking Auvergne region

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

When Modi met Trump: Budding romance or one-night stand?

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

How to counter Islamic State group propaganda?

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

Coal power plant in Senegal worries residents; and the Venezuelan TV show... in a bus

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

2017-06-23 Culture

The birth of a film industry: Hollywood and World War I

As we mark the centenary of the United States entering World War I, FRANCE 24 brings you a documentary on the birth of Hollywood. Our journalist Florence Gaillard sheds new light...

Read more

2013-04-26 Bashar al-Assad

Syria: Aleppo’s tales of war

Two years into the revolution, Aleppo’s resistance shows no sign of letting up. France 24 brings you a portrait of the rebels who refuse to abandon their city to Bashar al-Assad....

Read more

2017-06-16 Europe

Modern-day slaves: Europe's fruit pickers

Every year in southern Europe, five million tonnes of fruit and vegetables are harvested for supermarket shelves. But those supermarkets are seeking ever lower prices, and are...

Read more

2017-06-08 Asia-pacific

Video: Millions of single Chinese men desperately seeking a wife

In China, the one-child policy has wreaked havoc. By encouraging the birth of boys rather than girls, an imbalance of the sexes has emerged. China now counts far more men than...

Read more

2017-06-01 Americas

Exclusive: The war for Brazil’s superhighway of drugs

Manaus, the capital of Brazil’s northern Amazonas state, has increasingly become the scene of violent confrontations between gangs. Located near the Colombian border, the city...

Read more