France and Romania have signed a two-year agreement on the voluntary repatriation of Roma people back to Romania.
French Interior Minister Manuel Valls and European Affairs Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, in Romania for talks, visited Roma communities around Bucharest.
Paris has continued the much criticised Roma repatriation policies of former President Nicolas Sarkozy.
French Interior Minister, Manuel Valls said is dealing with the problem on three fronts:
“France has a policy, we evacuate the illegal camps, we send people back to the frontier, we fight against organised crime and at the same time we make efforts to integrate them in France,” he said.
The ministers got a taste of Roma life at first hand with Roma community member Danut Dumitru:
“Their is no work, to have a job to feed the children and send them to school. Unfortunately 26 people live in this house and there is no electricity.”
The new government of Francois Hollande has defended police raids to break up Roma camps near Paris, Lyon and Lille on health grounds.
Human rights groups call the actions discriminatory.