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French insist Roma are also Bucharest's problem

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French insist Roma are also Bucharest's problem


France’s Immigration and European Affairs ministers Eric Besson and Pierre Lellouche are in Bucharest trying to refocus the Roma question away from their much-criticised repatriation programme.

Their belief is the Roma are poorly integrated everywhere, not least at home, and Romania should do more to prevent them seeking better lives elsewhere.

The French want guarantees Romania will start a three year “national emergency plan”, and say they will help pay for it. They recognise some progress has been made integrating Roma children into the education system, but little or no progress has been made on jobs or housing.

Romania’s Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi said if the French were coming to lecture him the meeting would be “useless”, but both he and Prime Minister Emil Boc say they recognise and share many of France’s concerns.

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