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French Roma
By David at 08/19/2010 - 05:37

The French government has said it will on Thursday begin expelling to Romania and Bulgaria around 700 Roma rounded up in a clampdown on members of the minority living illegally in France.
The tribunal in southern Bordeaux also threw out a request by some 140 Roma families for authorization to station their caravans in the area.

Seventy-nine Romanian Roma who agreed to a so-called "voluntary return procedure" will arrive in Bucharest on Thursday on a regular flight.

France intends to fly 132 more to Timisoara, in western Romania, and Bucharest on Friday and 160 on August 26, Valentin Mocanu, Romanian state secretary in charge of Roma reintegration, told AFP.
They will be granted 300 euros (385 dollars) for adults and 100 euros for minors.

About 10,000 Roma from Romania and Bulgaria returned to their countries using this "voluntary return" procedure last year but the flight planned on Thursday is the first since French President Nicolas Sarkozy launched a controversial crackdown on Roma, Gypsy and travellers communities.


Most of the Roma who were sent to Romania last year returned to France afterwards as European citizens free to travel in the EU, officials admitted.
The French foreign ministry insisted that the measures being taken against the Roma were in line with European rules.


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