France Continues to Blackmail Bulgaria over Roma

Bulgaria in EU | August 16, 2012, Thursday // 15:03|  views

French socialist Minister of Interior Manuel Valls. Photo by BGNES

After having recently re-started to evict Roma from Bulgaria and Romania, France has again chosen to throw the blame on their home countries.

Bulgaria and Romania should do better in implementing policies that prevent discrimination against Roma if they want to be part of the Schengen Agreement, threatened Thursday French Minister of Inteiror Manuel Valls.

"The true decision of the problem would see the home countries of those Roma - which are EU members and want to enter in the Schengen area - change from the ground up the policies that have for decades been discriminating against this ethnic group," said Valls.

After a much criticized campaign in 2010, last Thursday the French authorities resumed the previous conservative government's controversial policy of dismantling illegal Roma camps and "repatriating" their residents to Romania or Bulgaria.

Two camps housing some 350 people were forcibly evacuated near the northern city of Lille, following similar operations in Paris and the south-western city of Lyon, France 24 reported.

Much like the previous rightist government led by President Nicolas Sarkozy and PM Francois Fillon, the present socialist government led by President Francois Hollande and PM Jean-Marc Ayrault has opted to shift the responsibility for illegal Roma camps to Bulgaria and Romania.

The French government is further organizing a meeting to discuss the problem of Roma camps, to be chaired by PM Ayrault, and to include cabinet ministers and NGOs working in the area of human rights.

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Tags: Roma, Romania, Bulgaria, France, Schengen, Francois Fillon, Nicolas Sarkozy, Jean-Marc Ayrault, Manuel Valls, human rights, discrimination


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