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French minister riles EU over Roma remarks

brussels bureau

French minister riles EU over Roma remarks


France is under fire from Brussels after a member of the country’s Socialist government called for jobless Roma to be expelled from French territory.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls said most Roma are incapable of integrating into French society and should be “sent back to the borders”.

Yet a European Commission spokesman hinted such a move could breach EU law.

“The freedom to reside in another EU country is a fundamental right that all EU citizens have, be they Romanians, Bulgarians or French,” Olivier Bailly told reporters in Brussels on Wednesday.

Three years ago, France last clashed with Brussels over the expulsion of Roma under former conservative president Nicolas Sarkozy.

The legality of the policy has previously been questioned by the European Commission, as well as the UN’s human rights body.

Amnesty International said on Wednesday that Paris has kicked out 10,000 Roma in the first six months of this year.

It wants France to enact a ban on forced evictions

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