France brushes off UN racism charge

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France brushes off UN racism charge

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The French government has rejected criticism from a UN committee that it is failing to stem a rising tide of racism in the country.

UMP spokesman Dominique Paillé brushed off the attack on Friday amid a controversial shutdown of 300 illegal gypsy camps.

He said the committee was made up of “countries which absolutely do not respect human rights”.

Paillé did not single out any one nation but Pakistan, Turkey and Algeria were among those represented on the UN anti-racism body.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy recently announced a raft of new measures to tackle violent crime.

They include expelling illegal immigrants and stripping foreign-born criminals of French citizenship.

While NGOs accuse Sarkozy of pandering to the far-right, his plans appear to strike a chord with French voters.

A recent survey published in the Le Figaro newspaper showed 70 to 80 percent of the 1,003 people polled back the president’s hardline approach.