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Sarkozy stands strong in his bid to crack down on Roma camps

09-07-2010 13:27 BJT

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French President Nicolas Sarkozy is standing strong in his controversial bid to crack down on illegal Roma camps and deport residents.

The Romanian migrants, called Roma, say they live with the constant fear they will be sent home.

Western Europe has struggled for decades over how to treat Roma people living in squalid camps, often on the outskirts of cities.

The French government says Roma has links with crimes and their camps are sources of prostitution and child exploitation.

Its policy is to round up the Roma, dismantle their illegal camps and send them back to Eastern Europe.

In France, police have expelled nearly a thousand Romas recently, mainly back to Romania. Those who remain say they're worried about their future.

Roma Camp, Resident, said, "If we go back to Romania, what can we do over there? There is no possibility to live like we do over here with our children. With my family this is very difficult. We are here with the children until the expulsion. We don't have legal identity papers, because in Romania it is very difficult."

Activists are making efforts to help the Roma people. They say deportation is a form of racism against one of the EU's poorest minorities.

The French government insists its policy is legal and says other EU countries are taking similar steps.

Eric Besson, French Immigration Minister, said, "We are not afraid of anyone or anything. The European Union is not a fortress. It simply wants to promote legal immigration which is the only type that allows for true integration."

The French government's hardline stance has triggered widespread criticism.

A protest has been held in front of the French embassy in Bucharest. Many businesses in Romania have dumped French wine, cosmetics and food to protest against the renewed crackdown.


Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: CNTV.CN

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