At Charles-de-Gaulle airport in Paris the latest group of Roma boarded a flight for Bucharest. Others left from Lyon on Thursday under a plan to send up to 700 to Romania and Bulgaria by the end of this month.
European countries have taken such action before, but these latest deportations have been denounced by human rights groups.
While many had agreed to take the flights and received payments, their futures are unsure as one of them explained.
“I am going back to Romania. There you work 30 days, 15 hours a day for 150 euros a month. With that money, it’s not enough to eat and feed the children,” the man said.
The European Union is scrutinising the situation to ensure Paris respects the bloc’s rules, while it is believed some of those deported may return to France in the future.
European Commission spokesman, Matthew Newman commented: “Roma people are just like any other Europeans. They are full European citizens. They have the right to free movement anywhere in the EU. They can work, they can study just like anyone else.’‘
In Grenoble, one of 300 Roma camps planned for closure was being dismantled. While the EU guarantees freedom of movement, restrictions can be imposed for reasons of public order, public security and public health.
Two Romanian officials are due in Paris for discussions with the French foreign ministry at the end of the month.