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France, Romania conclude talks on Roma policy

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France, Romania conclude talks on Roma policy


France and Romania have ended two days of talks with promises from Bucharest to do more to improve conditions for its large Roma community.

An estimated 284 Roma boarded flights for Romania from Paris and Lyon on Thursday.

Many Roma choose to leave for countries such as France in search of a better life but President Nicolas Sarkozy shows no sign of making a U-turn on his repatriation policy.

Pierre Lellouche, French Deputy European Affairs Minister told reporters in Paris: “I haven’t heard one government criticisng France for applying law, which is European law. I had a call a couple of days ago from a Bulgarian colleague, actually saying we support France in the implementation of European law.”

Despite condemnation from the church, rights groups and a UN anti racism panel, the move appears to be finding favour with the French electorate.

Forty-eight percent say they support the dismantling of unauthorised camps and expelling the Roma, according to the latest poll published by Le Parisien newspaper.

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