Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Davos 2017: Global leaders try to understand populist surge

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

DAVOS 2017: What next for the global healthcare industry?

Read more

FOCUS

New initiative provides free services to homeless in Paris

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Moving US embassy to Jerusalem would be 'a terrible mistake'

Read more

ENCORE!

Hisham Matar's memoir 'The Return' seeks answers in post-Gaddafi Libya

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Acquired tastes: The 'disgusting' French delicacies many foreigners won't eat

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Brazil: Docu-drama spotlights harsh reality of prison life

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Is Hollande eyeing 'European Council president' post after he steps down?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

11th hour: Scientists say primates facing 'imminent extinction'

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. And you can watch it online as early as 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

2017-01-13 USA

Video: Meeting Trump voters in Wisconsin

On January 20, Donald Trump will be sworn in as 45th president of the United States. With his promise of radical change in American politics, he won several states that until...

Read more

2017-01-05 Africa

Dadaab: Growing up in the world’s largest refugee camp

Located in eastern Kenya, near the Somali border, is Dadaab. This sprawling refugee camp is home to some 280,000 people, most of them from Somalia. Over the past 25 years, a...

Read more

2016-12-26 Middle East

Exclusive: Embedded with Iraqi special forces in Mosul

For more than two months, Iraqi forces have fought to retake Mosul from Islamic State group militants. A quarter of the city has been recaptured but the jihadists are still...

Read more

2016-12-23 migrants

Ferrette: The French village giving hope to migrants

It’s been almost a year since Ferrette, a tiny village in France’s Alsace region, transformed one of its old army barracks into a reception centre for refugees seeking asylum....

Read more

2016-12-15 Asia-pacific

Video: The Philippines’ ruthless war on drugs

Since Rodrigo Duterte took office in the Philippines in June, rarely does a night go by without dozens of bullet-riddled bodies being discovered in the streets of Manila. The new...

Read more