New French government moves against Roma camps

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New French government moves against Roma camps

Post by Bryant on Sat Aug 11, 2012 5:48 pm

New French government moves against Roma camps
BBC News


French police have been dismantling illegal Roma (Gypsy) camps after the new Socialist government promised action on public health grounds.

Two camps near Lille were closed on Thursday morning, following similar moves in Paris and the Lyon area.

About 240 east European Roma were put on a flight to Bucharest after agreeing to return to Romania voluntarily.

Critics say the Socialists are copying the mass clearances under conservative ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls said in a statement on Wednesday that court orders to remove illegal camps would be executed "with firmness".
Continue reading the main story

Who are the Roma?

  • Nomadic people whose ancestors are thought to have left north-west India at the beginning of the 11th Century and scattered across Europe
  • EU's largest Roma minority is in Romania - more than a million
  • Many Roma in Europe are hampered by poverty, low literacy levels and discrimination


Unsanitary camps were unacceptable, he said, adding that they posed a challenge to community life in the working-class areas where they were often set up.

He stressed that he had instructed officials to consult local politicians and associations with a view to rehousing especially vulnerable people such as children and pregnant women.

Mr Sarkozy's demolition of illegal Roma camps and expulsions in the summer of 2010 drew protests from France's neighbours and the European Commission.

Following the closures around Lyon, about 240 Roma were put on a plane at the city's Saint-Exupery airport on Thursday morning after agreeing to leave France voluntarily, in return for payments.

A Roma rights campaigner, whose name was given only as Jean-Philippe, told France 3 television the voluntary returns were "expulsions in disguise".

The compensation given - 300 euros (£237; $317) per adult - was a waste of public money, he argued, because many of the Roma would return to France.

Campaigners argue that the Roma face discrimination in their home countries.

The Roma are EU citizens, mostly from Romania or Bulgaria, but French law requires them to have a work permit and prove they have the means to support themselves if they intend to stay for more than three months.
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Re: New French government moves against Roma camps

Post by Miles1 on Mon Aug 13, 2012 12:03 pm

There's a lot of discrimination against Roma people, and a lot of it is due to xenophobic/racist sterotyping, but a lot of it also is founded in reality as well. A lot of times if they move into a new country/area they make no effort to integrate with the local community and look for work, instead they try to milk as much out of the local social welfare system (and the locals) as they can and then move on/get moved on. If you see a roma on the street, chances are they're most likely either begging or trying to distract you while their friends pick your pocket (and that sounds like I'm being racist, but that's experience, have had it happen to me). There have been occasions as well where a band of them moved their trailers into some scenic spot and turned it into an eyesore with garbage dumping etc, and effectively told the locals "if you want to get rid of us, you'll have to pay us to move on".

So, the french are bring discriminatory here, but the roma don't help themselves by their behaviour either. You could say it's a catch-22 situation, they are discriminated against because they are seen as beggars and criminals, and they turn to begging and crime because they can't get any jobs due to the discrimination - at this stage you probably have 4, 5 generations of families who have never had "honest" work. At some stage though the side being discriminated against have to be willing to giving at least lip service to dealing with and modifying the behaviour that everyone is complaining about, but the Roma never seem really interested in that.

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Re: New French government moves against Roma camps

Post by Dennis324 on Tue Aug 14, 2012 8:13 pm

Are these people squatters? Or do they own homes? Have they no intention of sendng their kids to schools or applying for work or integrating themselves into the nation? ARe they legally there? Or are they flying under the radar? If France were to ahve to go to war and institute a draft, would anyone know how to conscript these gypsies? Or would the gypsies enjoy the benefits of French freedoms without being subject to the average French person's obligations?

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Re: New French government moves against Roma camps

Post by Miles1 on Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:20 am

Dennis324 wrote:Are these people squatters? Or do they own homes? Have they no intention of sendng their kids to schools or applying for work or integrating themselves into the nation? ARe they legally there? Or are they flying under the radar? If France were to ahve to go to war and institute a draft, would anyone know how to conscript these gypsies? Or would the gypsies enjoy the benefits of French freedoms without being subject to the average French person's obligations?

They're generally squatters - they may own homes at home in Romania or Bulgaria (mostly where they're from), but in France (or whatever other European country they're in) they live in "gypsy encampments" and move around from place to place. Some of them may try to settle down legally but most fly under the radar, making no attempt to integrate and get legitimate work.

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Re: New French government moves against Roma camps

Post by Dennis324 on Wed Aug 15, 2012 7:33 am

Seems to me then that France has every right to kick them out. I think we have a somewhat similar problem here in the States.

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