10 Sep 2010

EU urges France to stop deporting Roma

4:01 pm on 10 September 2010

The European Parliament has called on France to suspend immediately its controversial deportations of Roma (Gypsies).

A toughly-worded resolution also demands strong action by the European Commission and EU governments to integrate Roma, many of whom live in poverty.

France, which since August has deported about 1000 Roma to Romania and Bulgaria, says it will urge the Romanian government to prioritise the integration of Roma.

Two French ministers are in Bucharest to discuss an emergency plan that France wants Romania to implement.

Italy resumes dismantling camps

The MEPs' resolution was adopted by 337 votes in the 736-seat Strasbourg Parliament, with 245 against. It had been tabled by centre-left, liberal and Green MEPs.

It said the Parliament "expresses its deep concern at the measures taken by the French authorities and other member states' authorities targeting Roma and Travellers and providing for their expulsion" and "urges those authorities immediately to suspend all expulsions of Roma".

This week, Italy resumed its dismantling of illegal Roma camps around Milan and Rome. Two years ago, Italy deported dozens of Roma in a major crackdown.