11/08/12 11:03 CET
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Echoing a similar situation as the one two years ago, the removal of Roma from French makeshift camps has drawn criticism from the EU.
Dozens have been repatriated to Romania.
Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy was accused of pandering to the right and flouting EU law when he did the same in 2010. EU justice Commissioner Vivian Reding described it as “a disgrace” at the time.
Thursday’s eviction of 200 Roma living in mobile homes near a Lille motorway, follows a week where undocumented Roma were forced from their homes in Paris and Lyon.
Interior Minister Manuel Valls defended the actions, saying “unsanitary camps are unacceptable” but that the government would look at granting more Romanians the right to work in France.
During his election campaign, French president Francois Hollande declared that while the camps would still be dismantled, “alternative arrangements would be offered.”
Up to 20,000 Roma live in France.
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