France expulses 'illegal" Roma, after Sarkozy accuses them of attacking police

Via EU Observer:
France's measures are also being scrutinised against similar moves targeting other ethnics or nationalities. A team of legal experts from French ministries are due to meet their counterparts in the commission on Friday, to give further explanations after the respective ministers met justice and human rights commissioner Viviane Reding on Tuesday (31 August).

The expulsions started last month following a speech in which French President Nicolas Sarkozy linked the "illegal" Roma camps to a hike in criminality and vowed to dismantle them without delay. By the end of August, the French authorities said they had evacuated 128 settlements and sent back 979 Romanian and Bulgarian citizens with irregular status.

The governments in Bucharest and Sofia, along with human right groups, the Pope and politicians from within Mr Sarkozy's own centre-right grouping have publicly condemned the move as sparking racism and xenophobia, a fear given weight by a deadly shooting against Roma in Slovakia last week.

Although not officially made public, the report appears to be an attempt by the commission to repair its dented image as guardian of the EU law, after having continuously said it was "analysing" the situation during the month of August.

Via NY Times,
It deported 283 Roma last week, bringing the total number of Romanian and Bulgarian Roma expelled this year to 8,313, compared with 7,875 sent home last year. Those who leave voluntarily are given a small cash payment.

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