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French ministers defend Roma expulsions in Brussels

2 min

Two French ministers are in Brussels on Tuesday to defend France’s controversial deportation of Roma at the European Commission. Proposals to withdraw French nationality for certain crimes will also come under the spotlight.


Immigration Minister Eric Besson and European Affairs Minister Pierre Lellouche face commission vice-president Vivianne Redding, who has expressed concern over the Roma policy, and Internal Affairs Commissioner Cécilia Maelstrom.

An analysis of the French policies’ legality will be presented to the commission Wednesday and France could face legal action if it is found to have broken European law.

Polish Roma representatives declared themselves “scandalised” by the French explusions Tuesday and called on Prime Minister Donald Tusk to condemn them.

Visiting police who were wounded by attackers earlier this month, Sarkozy on Tuesday expressed his unbending will” to press on with his law and order campaign.

And Besson on Monday suggested that some foreigners could be deported for “a threat to public order by repeated acts of theft or aggressive behaviour”.

A cabinet meeting on Friday will discuss the details of the plan to strip some convicted criminals of their nationality.

Sarkozy will choose between two proposals:

One would limit the measure to those found guilty of trying to kill police officers and other officials.

The other, put forward by Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux, would broaden the measures to include offences such as polygamy, female circumcision and fraud.

Junior minister Fadala Amara told RTL radio Tuesday that she opposed the Roma explusions and any attempt to broaden the criteria for losing citizenship.

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