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Roma in France get access to more jobs

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-10-15

Roma jobseekers in France who are Bulgarian or Romanian citizens have been given access to a wider number of jobs, including hairdressing, kitchen management and even banking, in a bid to make life easier for their marginalised communities.

France has increased the number of jobs that citizens of Romania and Bulgaria can do legally in France from 150 to 291, according to a directive published Monday.

The move is aimed at easing the plight of the country’s Roma, also known as Gypsies, who overwhelmingly come from the two eastern European countries and under current rules do not enjoy the same employment privileges as citizens from other EU countries.

Jobs that have been added to the list include car repairs, hairdressing, landscape gardening and kitchen management. Some positions in banking and finance are also open.

The employment restrictions for Bulgarian and Romanian citizens – a key condition for the two countries to join the EU – were due to expire at the end of 2013.

But French authorities have come under pressure to deal with the plight of Roma communities on French soil and halt the practice of deporting them back to their countries of origin.

Many in the French government, as well as Roma associations, have blamed employment restrictions for the suffering of Roma communities, many of which are blighted by almost total unemployment and live in squalid camps on the fringes of towns and cities.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls said in a statement on Monday that the French government wanted to progressively ease the conditions by which Bulgarians and Romanians can integrate into French society.

“Access to employment is key,” he said. 

Date created : 2012-10-15

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