European leaders gathering for a Brussels summit on the financial crisis may find the agenda hijacked by France’s deportation of Roma migrants. The EU Justice Commissioner this week condemned the expulsions, equating French actions with the Nazis. Viviane Reding has since apologised for that, and France insists it has done nothing wrong.
“I have accepted the apology from Madame Reding regarding her scandalous position on the way we conduct politics in France,” said Prime Minister Francois Fillon. “France strictly respects EU directives and national laws. We, together with other European nations, will continue to work on the question of the integration of the Roma.”
This meeting of conservative European leaders, on the eve of the EU summit, was intended to harmonise their position. Later today, in Brussels, all 27 leaders will attempt to focus on financial matters and how to prevent Europe falling back into recession, and so move on from the emotive question of the Roma.