In Romania as the first of the Roma people arrived in Bucharest from France there has been official reaction. The country’s foreign minister said he was worried about what he called, ‘xenophobic reactions’ to the campaign.
President Traian Basescu, speaking to the press in the eastern city of Iasi pledged to cooperate with France to find solutions.
“We understand the French government’s position. At the same time we support unconditionally the right of every Romanian citizen to free movement within the European Union,” he said and added, “Romania has asked since 2008 for the creation of a programme to integrate Roma people at a European level. Unfortunately there were states that considered this was not needed.”
The Roma have for centuries lived nomadically. It is reckoned there are two and a half million in Romania, Europe’s poorest country, while there are some 800,000 in Bulgaria who so far have remained silent on this latest controversy.