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In the Media

article imageFrance dismantles Gypsy camps

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By Paul Iddon
Aug 9, 2012 in Politics
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Today French authorities have moved on some 200 Roma (Gypsy) form their camps near city of Lille deporting many to Romania.
According to BBC News and France 24 this move comes after the new socialist government of Francois Hollande promised to take action with regard to the "unsanitary camps."
This also signifies this government is continuing the controversial policy the last conservative government took, hence taking apart these illegal Gypsy camps and deporting their inhabitants to Romania. Some 350 such people in two camps near Lille were evacuated from their habitations which were illegally erected.
Similar actions were taken in Paris and Lyon.
Interior Minister Manuel Valls stated yesterday that the court orders to remove these habitations along with the inhabitants would be executed "with firmness" stating that such unsanitary camps were unacceptable since they pose a challenge to the community life of the areas they are set up in.
Gypsies who voluntarily agree to be "repatriated" are given €300 per adult and €150 per child. This policy has caused considerably controversy in France as many argue that the Gypsies can simply use the money to return to France in the future.
This policy of dismantling such camps and deporting their inhabitants has been condemned to the extent that Vivian Reding the Justice Commissioner of the EU compared the round-ups to the kind that took place in Europe in the Second World War.
French President Hollande had promised during his campaign to continue to dismantle these camps but stated an "alternative arrange [to such deportation] would be offered." The government continues to insist that there is no racist motivations in closing the camps insisting that those evicted have stayed past the time they are legally allowed to reside in France.
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