Following the controversial expulsions of Roma from France, the rhetoric rolls on. Parties from both left and right united at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to denounce an increasing tendency to link European security with specific ethnic groups such as the Roma.
They said it was unacceptable to blame an entire ethnic group for the crimes and misdeeds of just a few individuals.
Anne Brasseur from the Liberal Group said: “It’s true, there have been Roma repatriations from many countries. For example in France last year, around 10,00 Romanians were returned to their country and most of them were Roma. And no-one said anything. But now, because of the way it’s being done and because of the excess and the language being used, the situation has spiralled and we have to protect this population.”
However, the French were quick to point out that denying the problems relating to Roma integration in France would only serve the interests of far-right extremists.