There are solid signs that France has acted illegally in expelling Roma people, the European Commissioner for Justice has said, according to a Spanish member in the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee.
After discussions there, Viviane Reding made her first public statement since her controversial remarks one week ago, with which she rebuked the French.
On whether EU legal action would go ahead, she said: “The question on if it will be on the agenda in one week… you know it is the president who sets the agenda. I can just tell you it is foreseen to be treated very soon.”
Reding was asked if she felt weakened in her Commission functions by the fallout of having linked the Roma expulsions with World War Two ethnic persecution. (At a leaders’ summit, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said everyone supported his defence of the country’s moral credentials.)
Reding, in Strasbourg, said she was fighting fit: “You see, if a man in politics puts the fist on the table, that’s “male”, he defends himself. If a woman puts a fist on the table, she is hysterical, okay? That’s why we have the gender equality question on the table today!”