September 15, 2010

Roma deportations by France a disgrace, says EU

France was forced on to the defensive over Nicolas Sarkozy's crackdown on the Roma population today after the European commission threatened the French government with legal action, labelling the policy disgraceful and comparing it to second world war deportations.

In her first direct criticism of France, after being widely reviled for prevaricating, Viviane Reding, the European commissioner for justice, attacked the Sarkozy government over the mass expulsions of Roma people and accused it of duplicity in its dealings with Brussels.

Reding likened the recent deportation of almost 1,000 Gypsies to Romania and Bulgaria to Vichy France's treatment of Jews in the second world war. She said Brussels had no option but to launch infringement proceedings, meaning that France could be hauled before the European court of justice.

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