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Is France's treatment of Roma too harsh?

09:09 UK time, Wednesday, 15 September 2010

France and Germany are in a diplomatic row after German Chancellor Angela Merkel contradicted President Nicolas Sarkozy over Roma (Gypsy) camps. What is your view on France's actions?

Mr Sarkozy told a news conference that Chancellor Merkel had said to him that she intended to follow France's example in dismantling Roma camps. But Mrs Merkel's spokesman denied she had discussed the issue with Mr Sarkozy.

Prior to the EU summit, the EU justice commissioner, Viviane Reding had compared France's removal of Roma with the deportation of gypsies during World War II - remarks she later announced she regretted making.

More than 1,000 Roma in France have been deported to Romania and Bulgaria since late July. Critics see the policy as a way for the French president to boost his flagging popularity.

Was Viviane Reding right to criticise the French government's treatment of the Roma population? Should the EU take disciplinary action against France? Are there better ways to tackle the issue?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 12

  • Comment number 1.

    I think the time has come to say - the rest of us have to pay taxes, insurances, mots, health care, etc and true romanys have proably died out - these are travellers - ie people who choose to avoid settling - why should they have preferential treatments - some have secret bank accounts and homes - so they are not homeless.

  • Comment number 2.

    This appears to be pure racism from France's right wing government.

  • Comment number 3.

    The French simply ignore european law when it doesn't suit them, it's a kind of tradition they have.

    Modern Britain has a culture of blind obedience to orders, so we'll find this kind of thing a bit of an eye opener.

  • Comment number 4.

    Mr Sarkozy should look back at his own ethnicity and consider his actions given that less than 70 yrs ago people from his ethnicity were being forceably expelled from France to the East to a worse fate than the Roma.

    Regardless of whether or not you view the Roma as a problem/nuisance or whatever perjorative term you may choose doesn't warrant the forced expulsion.

    He, of all people, ought to know better...

    Hopefully he will learn as we in England have learned the hard way - the EU is an obstruction to national sovereignty and has a major say in how life in France can proceed.

  • Comment number 5.

    Compare to what?

  • Comment number 6.


    Sometimes I very much envy the French!

  • Comment number 7.

    Just to check I am reading it right-

    France is deporting people for being in the country illegally?
    France is taking appart illegal camps?
    France is offering money for people to return to their home country?

    If thats right I dont see how anyone can complain. Surely there is more to this story than the BBC is stating

  • Comment number 8.

    No. It's absolutely right.

    Let's hope the UK government takes a similar attitude to foreigners it neither needs nor wants.

    There needs to be a radical rethink on immigration, even within the EU.

    The EU woman talking about France being a 'disgrace' sounded a little unhinged. I suspect she knows that along with election results throughout Europe, the anti-immigration feeling is getting way stronger than the out-of-touch authoritarian establishment can handle.

    I'm all for learning from our continental friends. Let's follow France on this one - and the burka ban!

  • Comment number 9.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 10.

    "Are there better ways to tackle the issue?"

    there must be.

    but then again, the travellers in the UK haven't fared well either (distrust from neighbours, a state that continues to hound them with unsuitable laws and bylaws, etc).

  • Comment number 11.

    This just proves that there can never be a federal Europe and poses the question "why are we still a part of this non,non,nonsense"?

  • Comment number 12.

    I only wish we would follow their example.

  • Comment number 13.

    If they can class the Roma as a specific political group then the French will be 100% ok.

    Discrimination on the grounds of a groups political beliefs are specifically excluded by European law, so you can treat those people any way you choose.
    Lock them up, kick 'em out etc etc.

    Just to keep it legal and all that.

  • Comment number 14.

    2. At 09:27am on 15 Sep 2010, Beige Rage wrote:

    This appears to be pure racism from France's right wing government.

    ............


    Wow, deporting people who've entered a country illegally is now racist!

  • Comment number 15.

    I am a UK resident but not a UK citizen. If I disobey UK laws, then I expect that there is a possibility I'll be deported back to the US. I do not think the Roma should be targeted on the basis of who they are, but no ethnic identity should allow anyone to break the law with impunity. If the Roma wish to pursue a life of travel, then more power to them - as long as they obey local laws while they travel. If they do not, as is apparent in this case, then the French have the right to enforce their laws. It seems to me neither surprising nor unjust that this might lead, after due process, to either prosecution or deportation.

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    This episode simply illustrates the fact the the EU has too many fingers in too many pies - Why shouldn't the French Government have the right to say who is welcome in THEIR country - it's a pity that the British Government hasn't got the backbone to be equally assertive over national, as opposed to European ,issues. Rock on Mr. S !

  • Comment number 18.

    France has every right to dispel who she pleases. It annoys the British who stick rigidly to the European bureaucratic words of instructions. Looking after number one is unfortunately the last thing Britain will do. She would sooner sink into oblivion than look to her own self interest. Wouldn't it be a breath of fresh air if England and the rest of the UK stood up for themselves, like the French, and refused to knuckle under to a system they have neither wanted, voted for, or been asked their opinion on.

  • Comment number 19.

    The (selfish) right-wing french government exercising their right to be racist.

    What does it say about a people that treats the less fortunate in their society with complete disdain? There will be blood on the French government's hands.

  • Comment number 20.

    14. At 09:46am on 15 Sep 2010, Cronk wrote:
    2. At 09:27am on 15 Sep 2010, Beige Rage wrote:

    This appears to be pure racism from France's right wing government.

    ............


    Wow, deporting people who've entered a country illegally is now racist!


    ------

    'Illegal' is just a term that has been made up to appease people like yourself.

  • Comment number 21.

    Is there a better way to deal with illegal immigrants that set up ghettos and cause crime and health risks due to lack of sanitation,

    No deport them and invoice the cost to the country they have migrated from

  • Comment number 22.

    14. At 09:46am on 15 Sep 2010, Cronk wrote:

    Wow, deporting people who've entered a country illegally is now racist!

    Have they entered illegally though? Last time I checked, their countries of origin are Romania and Bulgaria.. EU citizens from EU member states if I remember correctly.. Schengen, freedom of movement, open borders mean anything at all to you?

    deporting people on the basis of their ethnicity, people who have every right under current law to stay is not only racist, but also illegal. until and if the EU amends the law, France is blatantly in the wrong.

  • Comment number 23.

    I saw first hand what happens when Travelers camp (illegally) for a week or so and then get moved on to fowl some other town.
    I worked on a prestigious business park. There were grassy areas where new units would be built but one morning several caravans moved in.
    I had to close the blinds all day and rush out at night because children were outside begging from me. Those children hit and kicked the parking barrier until it was finally broken. When the milkman came around about 10 children jumped on to his vehicle, grabbed numerous bottles of milk and ran back into the caravans. These children went to the toilet openly anywhere they happened to be, viciously kicked their dogs and harassed and begged from anyone they could.
    Because of our laws it took the Police weeks to move them on.
    If France don't want this behavior in their country who would blame them?
    It's a pity our Government don't have any guts to put the people who live here first.

  • Comment number 24.

    Seems to me that the French protect their culture more seriously than us. Bhurka bans and getting rid of illegal immigrants are the kind of actions we need.

    This will infuriate the PC do-gooders that have ruined our country. I say fuel up the planes and lets get rid of all the scroungers that we have in our country.

    If the leftie do-gooders don't think that the country and the rest of Europe, with the exception of the EU parliament, want action on these people then let's put it to the vote. We could always find space for all the other "British" benefit scroungers.

  • Comment number 25.

    The anti EU brigade are really having a field day I see, so no change there then. Sarkozy is an opportunist and a political failure, He has failed to implement most of his policies and those he has implemented are those that benefit the rich sponsors of his party and not the rest of the country. Now faced with the fact that he will be kicked out in 2012 he is resorting to the oldest trick the in book 'blame it on the foreigners' but only those who are weak and can't fight back.
    He wouldn't try blaming the Jews because he knows what will happen if he does so have a go at the poor Roma instead easy stuff.

  • Comment number 26.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 27.

    People who are members of, or appear ostensibly to be in favour of, or sympathise with, "The Travelling Anarchist Party" will be deported forthwith or refused entry on these grounds.

    The Brits do it with those extreme right wing guys like that French Le-pen dood, it's a standard european discrimination loophole.

  • Comment number 28.

    //More than 1,000 people have been deported to Romania and Bulgaria since late July, when President Nicolas Sarkozy linked illegal Roma camps to crimes such as prostitution and child exploitation.//

    The camps were illegal.

    Sarkozy didn't dream up the links to crime and prostitution.

    The Establishment, including the BBC, needs to understand that its views on immigration are massively out of date.


    Times have changed. The likes of the BBC sound as archaic now as the people who thought the Beatles should be flogged for having long hair did, back in the 60s.

    So, BBC, and the EU - times have changed, get used to it. Or, to put it in a way you people might understand - stop being grotty, immigration isn't fab....

  • Comment number 29.

    The people being thrown out are there illegally and in an illegal camp.
    I suppose we would give them housing, money to live on, free education, medical treatment etc... and then representatives to help them fight over several years to stay here for more of the same.
    No wonder people are crossing the whole of Europe making their way to naive Britain.
    France is right to thrown out illegal immigrants. Don't start pulling out the racist card, people breaking the law are not wanted as citizens. Its common sense.

  • Comment number 30.


    France is a democracy and its leaders are elected to do what the majority of their people want. It is, therefore, ironic that an unelected EU commissioner tell an Elected Government that its very popular policy is illegal or in someway illegitimate.

    In many ways France hoisted itself with its own pitard as it has always been at the forefront of demanding that nation states within Europe transfer so much of their sovereignity and national powers to a profoundly undemocratic and unrepresentative EU.

    Hopefully, a new realism about the nature of the EU will now inform French politics in the future and the French people take back their government.

    In relation to the issue itself - if there is anyone who is in France illegally (Roma or otherwise) and breaking the law then the French government (like any government) should have the power to deport them back to their country of origin.

    Guests in any country need to remember that they are guests and if they make the people of the host nation unhappy then they should not expect to be guests for much longer.

  • Comment number 31.

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  • Comment number 32.

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  • Comment number 33.

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  • Comment number 34.

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  • Comment number 35.

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  • Comment number 36.

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  • Comment number 37.

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  • Comment number 38.

    This is a typical non story, inflated out of all proportion by the media. It is not illegal under French or EU law to pay individual people or indeed groups of peoples (irrespective or race/religion or sexuality) to voluntarily leave France. In the UK we deport hundreds of people each week from the UK and in many cases by force. France is acting in an entirely decent manner by paying for accomodation, flights and paying each volunteer up to Euro 10,000.00. What actually is the problem with this ?
    I might actually see if I can get deported from France as Euro 10,000.00 is not exactly small change !

  • Comment number 39.

    They *are* breaking the law. What should the French do? Put them in prison?

  • Comment number 40.

    I cannot understand why my earlier comment 'has been referred for further consideration'.
    However, I live in Italy and there is a hardcore of Roma that engage in trespass, begging, theft, burglary and prostitution on a scale that does not endear them to the local populace. Many ethnic Roma people are law-abiding, but the minority give them all a bad name, which is hardly the fault of the locals, is it?

  • Comment number 41.

    Just because we are so inept in dealing directly with problems of so-called 'travellers' doesn't mean that the French should follow us - so, good luck to them! They perceive a problem, they have their own ways of dealing with it. In Britain we dilly-dally and allow our human rights to be twisted and denied while granting freedoms to others. A 'Traveller' can plont himself where he wishes and nought gets done about it; renegade Moslems do as they want and anyone objecting to it gets arrested by the police; our schools brainwash pupils in 'equal rights' (which are manifestly denied to the majority of Brits)..We are in NO POSITION TO DICTATE OR ADVISE THE FRENCH!

  • Comment number 42.

    France seems to me as being very keen to protect their culture. Migrants into France do not, from what I can see, suffer discrimination or racism at the hands of this government. I can see no evidence of any discrimination on the grounnds of race, religion or gender.

    However, if any group of people living in France do not conform with the French way of life, it seems that they can expect action against them.

    The whole thing seems fair enough to me.

  • Comment number 43.

    Pity Call me Dave, Caviour George, Prescott Pickles, Nappy Changing Nick and the rest of our so called government don't have the back bone to do the same to all our unwanted.

  • Comment number 44.

    People who use the EU law, allowing you to live anywhere in EU, to move to another country for the purposes of claiming their better benefits or to carry out crime should be removed to their country of origin. Who wants people who have no intention of supporting themselves by normal paid employment and paying taxes or obeying local laws as immigrants and neighbours?

  • Comment number 45.

    22. At 10:04am on 15 Sep 2010, Carl Showalter wrote:

    14. At 09:46am on 15 Sep 2010, Cronk wrote:

    Wow, deporting people who've entered a country illegally is now racist!

    Have they entered illegally though? Last time I checked, their countries of origin are Romania and Bulgaria.. EU citizens from EU member states if I remember correctly.. Schengen, freedom of movement, open borders mean anything at all to you?

    deporting people on the basis of their ethnicity, people who have every right under current law to stay is not only racist, but also illegal. until and if the EU amends the law, France is blatantly in the wrong.

    ==================

    France have transitional arrangements for the ascession countries.

    We don't becuase Labour needed them to prop up their vote.

  • Comment number 46.

    WE needed to get the word racist back from the barmy do gooders in society. Because its becoming their standard term to thwart attempts to tighten up law and order, and just about every other transgression of society.

  • Comment number 47.

    One of the curious things about democracy is that in order to win elections, restore flagging popularity and so on, politicians ocasionally carry out policies which are popular with the majority. If this is the case with the expulsion of the Romas then Sarkozi - like it or not - is behaving like a democratic politician, unlike Cameron etc. who reneged on election promises regarding the EU.

    I hope that France will stand up to the EU on this issue and on its Burka ban too. Just for once let democracy prevail over the bureaucrats and leftists whose agenda is masked by the rhetoric of rights.

    I have seen the handiwork of these travellers in France, descend on a small town or village, render it filthy, and in one case I witnessed threaten to set fire to the mayor. No thanks. Listen to the people, deport the illegals, and stick a finger to the EU.

    To the UK - follow the French.

  • Comment number 48.

    Since when has France ever worried about what the EU thought of them and good luck to them, it's a pity wwe are more like them.

    If these people are in the country illegally, they should be deported.

    It's a pity we don't take the same harsh line as we seem to be a haven and soft touch for all and sundry.

  • Comment number 49.

    I am Romanian and I approve the illegal Roma settlers getting deported from France. After all it's not about them being Roma but about them being ILLEGAL. I am sure that Roma aren't the only people getting deported from France, I am sure people from Africa, From Asia and from Eastern Europe get deported if they don't have documentation to be in the country. So why would Roma get special treatment to remain. This is just "divide and conquer" rubbish.

  • Comment number 50.

    Most people who immigrate want to live and work in the country they migrate too, but to set up an illegal camp could be called an invasion. France has acted with restraint over this and been very fair to people who seem to want to move in to France and get special treatment because they are Roma. If they don't get special treatment you are called a racist for applying the law to them.
    If I moved to France and set up an illegal camp I bet I would be deported too.

  • Comment number 51.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 52.

    Dont worry I am sure the leftie brigade will make sure they all end up over here,(thats as long as they dont end up living at the end of their streets)as our immigration is still a mess after the 13 years of Labours open door policy

  • Comment number 53.

    This, along with the recent Burqa ban, is just a cynical ploy from Sarkozy to pander to the (extreme) rightwing demographic in an attempt to revive his popularity whihc has tanked dramatically. Seems to be the mode du jour in a lot of Western countries: for the failed economies people resort to scapegoating (minorities are very popular in this respect) instead of tackling the real culprits (ie the greedy corporate fatcats who destroyed out economies)

  • Comment number 54.


    @Carl Showalter


    "Have they entered illegally though?"


    Yes.


    "Last time I checked, their countries of origin are Romania and Bulgaria.. EU citizens from EU member states if I remember correctly.. Schengen, freedom of movement, open borders mean anything at all to you?"


    The check again, even though the Tony Blair government and the UK recognised the citizenship of the EU ascension countries France and Germany did not (perferring to phase it in whilst keeping national control of their borders) so anyone from these countries who are in France without permission are there illegally.


    "deporting people on the basis of their ethnicity, people who have every right under current law to stay is not only racist, but also illegal."


    Deporting people on the basis of ethnicity is illegal under EU law. However, deporting people who are there illegally, setting up illegal camps or indluging in any criminal behaviour is perfectly legal under French law.


    "until and if the EU amends the law, France is blatantly in the wrong."


    Actually the EU is a profoundly undemocratic, unrepresentative institution so is no position to lecture France or any other Democracy about whether that country is behaving legitimately or not.

    Hopefully, France, Italy and other EU countries will now challenge the power of the EU commission to decide these issues.

  • Comment number 55.

    I have to say I'm all in favour of the French approach, and NO I don't think that it's racist, (A word that is used all too often when FREE SPEECH is used or when people don't want to leave a country). When individuals enter a country illegally they should expect to be deported, if the UK took the time to truely consider the huge number of illegals in this country and the number of international students who are only listed as students and NEVER attend lectures or tutorials they may be tempted to do something similar, and if not WHY NOT.

  • Comment number 56.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 57.

    If the EU moves to take legal action against France in order to establish that the French do not have the right to control whgich and how many people can enter their country....it will open a whole tin of worms and probably lead to the collapse of the power held over member states by the European Commission and the EU parliament. Itay, Germany, Spai, Portugal and probably the UK will support France in clawing bac some of the sovereignty they have all lost.

  • Comment number 58.

    France has every right to expel people who are there illegally, It's their decision to make.

    I did see one video of a lady, who looked pregnant, (though it was only a grainy video I could be wrong on that), being viciously beaten and dragged through the mud by the French police.

    Id France's decision to expel the Roma camps harsh? Maybe, but as mentioned it's their decision not ours.

    Is the treatment of these people by the French police harsh? From the videos I have seen? Yes.

  • Comment number 59.

    Why are the "Travelling Community" so vociferous regarding their "rights" to "travel" when they wish to leave an unattractive location/country but then become equally vociferous regarding their "rights" to "settle" when they arrive in a desirable location/country?

    Their desire to "travel" is often never mentioned again. Particularly in respect of leaving and returning to their homeland.

  • Comment number 60.

    No, it's absolutely right. I'm all for economic mobility and welcome immigrants who work hard and add value to their new countries, but why should those who don't be welcomed?

    My city has a growing number of Roma, whose sole reason for being here appears to be to sit on the pavements and beg. Don't we have enough home-grown beggars, without importing more? They contribute nothing to this country and we should take a leaf out of France's book and deport them all.

  • Comment number 61.

    It is a harsh action yes, but it's also fair and right. Thousands of people take up residents in France illegally. They then set up illegal camps, further they have no visible means of support, so (and this has been stated by the French government) there must be illegal activity going on to support populations. With this in mind I cannot see any reason why they should not be expelled.
    If I went to another country and broke they law it would be a bit rich to claim that my certain expulsion was on the grounds of race. If I organised a group of friends of the same ethnicity as myself to go, and we all broke the law, would it then be OK to claim we were being picked on unfairly as a group? Of course not.
    You cannot have any form of immigration control at all if illegal residents cannot be removed.
    If France cannot remove these people, then France like the rest of Europe is at the mercy of others. Otherwise immigration policy would largely be in the hands of those that wish to come to Europe, the only criteria being 'I want to go to Europe', after that 'you can't get rid of me' and 'I'll stay here if I want'.

  • Comment number 62.

    Is France's treatment of Roma too harsh? Harsh how cant that be harsh when they have broken the law and entered the country illegaly? Not to mention all the drug trade thats going on. For example in my country in the capital vilnius the roma in the "taboras" are living on goverment land they dont pay the electric bill, water or anything at all for that matter, us the taxpayers have to pay their bills. And they say its their right that are being trampled?
    Say what you want to say but I personaly supprot the French.

  • Comment number 63.

    Viviane Reding of the EU justice ministry supports illegal immigration that really is all this is about, perhaps she would rather they all went to Luxembourg where her fellow nationals could support them. I wonder how she would respond if all the UK unemployed went to Luxembourg which this on a smaller scale is people leaving their own country where they are not wanted by the majority.

  • Comment number 64.

    Governments have always made things up to suit themselves according to the prevailing winds.

    Even the US constitution is a waste of space.

    I remember the famous International British terrorist and hippy, Cat Stevens, being refused entry into America on the grounds of national security...lol
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3678694.stm

  • Comment number 65.

    As usual with immigration issues, every time a country tries to solve its problems resulting from unsatisfactory, failed or illegal immigration, the race cards get played. France is trying to help these people get back to their own country, who are disgracefully failing to help their own people, because they're living in squallor and extreme poverty as a result of being unable to support themselves by working & integrating into France. The original trigger for this was proven criminal links to these unfortunate people & their squallid camps. Yet another reason to scrap the EU Parliament and remove all but administration issues from the Commission.

  • Comment number 66.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 67.

    This is why Europe as a cncept is just useless - we are not one big happy family and every country must have the final say in its own affairs.
    So please Ms.EU Justice Thing - let France do as she sees fit - it is after all none of your business.

  • Comment number 68.

    7. At 09:35am on 15 Sep 2010, in_the_uk wrote:
    Just to check I am reading it right-

    France is deporting people for being in the country illegally?
    France is taking appart illegal camps?
    France is offering money for people to return to their home country?

    If thats right I dont see how anyone can complain. Surely there is more to this story than the BBC is stating
    ---------
    No you are not reading it right, these people are EU citizens and are in France legally, that is why the French action is illegal. It seems rather than enforce their own laws around child protection, prostitution and planning, the French have taken a shortcut that will simply displace the problem back to Romania.

  • Comment number 69.

    Pity Britain's governments didn't have the same resolve and moral courage to remove undesirables as soon as possible. The Roma are undesirable in their own country, so if the people who condemn France wish to put things right, they should do so by campaigning to keep the countries they come from out of the EEC. This will never happen because it is not on their politically correct agenda.

  • Comment number 70.

    22. At 10:04am on 15 Sep 2010, Carl Showalter wrote:

    14. At 09:46am on 15 Sep 2010, Cronk wrote:

    Wow, deporting people who've entered a country illegally is now racist!

    Have they entered illegally though? Last time I checked, their countries of origin are Romania and Bulgaria.. EU citizens from EU member states if I remember correctly.. Schengen, freedom of movement, open borders mean anything at all to you?

    deporting people on the basis of their ethnicity, people who have every right under current law to stay is not only racist, but also illegal. until and if the EU amends the law, France is blatantly in the wrong.

    .................

    Hi Carl,

    My mistake, they (the Romanians etc) do have the right to freedom of movement!

    However, I feel the French are right in this case and I support them, though I don't like the term 'racist' being used to describe their actions!

  • Comment number 71.

    38. At 10:33am on 15 Sep 2010, mal wrote:
    This is a typical non story, inflated out of all proportion by the media. It is not illegal under French or EU law to pay individual people or indeed groups of peoples (irrespective or race/religion or sexuality) to voluntarily leave France. In the UK we deport hundreds of people each week from the UK and in many cases by force. France is acting in an entirely decent manner by paying for accomodation, flights and paying each volunteer up to Euro 10,000.00. What actually is the problem with this ?
    I might actually see if I can get deported from France as Euro 10,000.00 is not exactly small change !
    ---------
    You didn't read the article did you? Not all of the deportations are voluntary and where did you get the E10,000 from? The actual figure is E330 (£274).

  • Comment number 72.

    If the people concerned are illegally in France then they have committed a crime they therefore are criminals. It is the French government's duty to expel those criminals. It is also any government's duty in a democracy to listen to and act on the wishes of it's people. It would appear that the French government have acted correctly on both those counts.

  • Comment number 73.

    //25. At 10:09am on 15 Sep 2010, Tim0thy wrote:
    The anti EU brigade are really having a field day I see, so no change there then. Sarkozy is an opportunist and a political failure, He has failed to implement most of his policies and those he has implemented are those that benefit the rich sponsors of his party and not the rest of the country. Yes, he is. Same as most politicians in his country then, really.

    Now faced with the fact that he will be kicked out in 2012 he is resorting to the oldest trick the in book 'blame it on the foreigners' but only those who are weak and can't fight back.
    He wouldn't try blaming the Jews because he knows what will happen if he does so have a go at the poor Roma instead easy stuff.

    You resort to an outdated, right-on stream of conscienceness rant without giving a single reason why France - or any other country, for that matter - should accept foreigners it doesn't want.

    Bear in mind that the only people who seem to have an issue with jews nowadays in Europe are the left and others who continually complain about Israel, whilst ignoring much worse situations elsewhere in the muslim world. German radio has reported on the growth of anti-semitism in Europe - it's very rife among their immigrants.

    And the BBC's coverage of France is utterly and unacceptably racist. It routinely describes the French as 'intolerant', when talking of their attitudes towards muslims etc.

    It is typical of their pc racism that they do this. It would be utterly verboten to describe a non-white population as 'intolerant'. But the BBC's racism allows, indeed obliges, it to speak about the French in such terms.

  • Comment number 74.

    As usual, this has been misrepresented in the MSM. EU regulations are very clear. A member state may deport a migrant, without compensation, if the migrant cannot prove, without doubt, that he/she is able to comletely support his/herself within three months of entering the EU state.
    These migrants are illegal, have no work, have been here for several years and have been supported by us for far too long. Many of their children have committed violent offenses, have attacked our gendarmerie and committed murder on our streets.
    Our state has granted them money and safety to leave our country.

    HOW CAN ANY OF THAT BE WRONG !! The EU needs to be careful. We do not currently support entry into the EU. IF M.Le Pen should gain more votes in the coming elections Ms Reding my find herself out of work au chomage.

  • Comment number 75.

    18. At 10:00am on 15 Sep 2010, roy smith wrote:
    France has every right to dispel who she pleases. It annoys the British who stick rigidly to the European bureaucratic words of instructions. Looking after number one is unfortunately the last thing Britain will do. She would sooner sink into oblivion than look to her own self interest. Wouldn't it be a breath of fresh air if England and the rest of the UK stood up for themselves, like the French, and refused to knuckle under to a system they have neither wanted, voted for, or been asked their opinion on.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    That's not entirely accurate is it Roy. The British people would like to see the Gov't do something (similar and fair) about this issue and vote accordingly in General Elections. The problem is that once the MP's and Gov't start to look at the issue and the establishment/industry and EU edicts on it, they get themselves all knotted up and in a tizzy about it.
    Firstly they don't want to upset too many of the people who might be against them (as they are in positions of power and can generate publicity spinning the MP/Gov't in a bad light) and secondly, they don't want to rock the good old EU Gravy train, particularly as many of them will want to board it in a few years (they see it as a logical progression of their political careers).
    I know it is a bit of France playing the 'do as we say not as we do game' and 'bending the rules to suit them' where the EU is concerned, this is nothing new. Let's hope that if they carry on and the EU does nothing, then our Gov't will get to grips with things. Starting with reviewing the expulsion of illegal immigrants and those who have broken the law, lets end the repeated appeals process for a start, they get one and put forwards ALL the reasons they should not be sent back to their country of origin, not try one, then another, then another etc.
    If they are told they must leave, they are sent direct from the court to a secure centre, all their belongings etc. can be collected under escort, and they are out within 3 days (unless an appeal is lodged which must be heard within two weeks - they spend this time in the secure facility as well).
    One other thing, are the French also going to apply this to all those sitting in the camps near the channel awaiting an opportunity to enter the UK illegally?

  • Comment number 76.

    -----------------
    Migrants into France do not, from what I can see, suffer discrimination or racism at the hands of this government. I can see no evidence of any discrimination on the grounnds of race, religion or gender.
    -----------------

    You're joking are you? Read up on some history about how North African immigrants are treated in France, especially in the south. A lot of North African immigrants (legal!) are changing their identity to Italian to avoid instant rejection for job applications (and that includes highly educated applicants). ethnic discrimination goes all the way to government level in France. Based on first hand experience, even European migrants face a tough time in France getting anything done by the government(like permit applications etc)

  • Comment number 77.

    The big issue is what to do with the Roma in Europe. Pushing them back to Bulgaria is not going to solve anything. The gypsies migrated to Europe from the Indian subcontinent hundreds of years but were later expelled from the most of Europe along with the arabs (in spain) and the jews everywhere. An by expelled I mean burnt, killed and hunted like animals with the blessing of the church that considered them enemies to the faith and friends of the devil. They found refuge in the Ottoman Empire and that is why the majority of them are now on the Balkans. It's a shame that the Ottoman Empire was more tolerant than the West of Europe then and we should not repeat that in the 21st century. By that logic Bulgaria and Romania should be able to round them up and ship them to India. If that sounds outrageous to you google Paul de Lagarde and "The Madagascar Plan" for solving the "jewish problem".

    The crime rates in that ethnic group are very high, and the fact that our societies reject them is understandable, but not acceptable. This reality needs to be changed. It is the extreme poverty that has driven them to crime as way to survive, not race. Their genes are irrelevant, it is the how the society as a whole has rejected them and how their own social group has raised them. We should not tolerate crime, for anybody. At the same time unless we provide them with a way towards integration in our societies they simply cannot change.

  • Comment number 78.

    The issue here is not the rights or wrongs of Roma expulsions, it's about French sovereignty. The French were instrumental in setting up the EU and have been its strongest advocate. Now perhaps they see the folly of building the EU into an organisation which can interfere in national policy decisions.
    I hope they will stick to their guns. The EU is ultimately a bigger threat to France than the Roma, and a good row over this might weaken it and protect the sovereignty of other EU member states.

  • Comment number 79.

    "deporting people on the basis of their ethnicity, people who have every right under current law to stay is not only racist, but also illegal. until and if the EU amends the law, France is blatantly in the wrong."

    Who said France was deporting them based on their ethnicity? I thought being ILLEGAL warranted deportation.

  • Comment number 80.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 81.

    36. At 10:31am on 15 Sep 2010, D wrote:
    ..... non whites dont really have a mass murderer they look upto!
    -----
    Except Idi Amin, Robert Mugabe, Saddam Hussein, Pol Pot and Muammar Gadaffi.
    You make a good point about Europeans not being expelled from Australia, South Africa, USA etc, but to claim that some races are less evil than others is simply nuts!

  • Comment number 82.

    Post 23 sums up a serious problem in parts of the UK.

    However, as these 'travellers' (they are not Roma) may be UK citizens, we cannot (unfortunately) deport them.

    The police have problems dealing with them as they hide behind our civil rights legislation.

    France has shown the way but we cannot follow their lead them on this one unfortunately - although there is no reason why all non-British law breakers and all illegal immigrants cannot be automatically deported.

  • Comment number 83.

    NO - They're not French, they don't belong in France. Every European country has got to get a grip on illegal immigrants, the idea that we can just float about to any country and park our arses there is flawed. Local governments can't cope with huge influxes of people that don't contribute towards local services, and look at the mess they make, not just the Roma's, all those that are swamping Calais trying to get over here.

  • Comment number 84.

    Good for the French – they are showing all of Europe, how to deal with the immigrant crisis sweeping over Europe.

    We need to follow France’s example, change any necessary Laws, and then start the mass expulsion of the millions of immigrants brought into the UK by the Labour Party. If we can remove 5 million immigrants from the UK – the housing shortage could be solved, the environment saved and millions of jobs will be made available.

  • Comment number 85.

    The French are right on Roma and they are right on the burkha ban. There comes a time when a native population have the right to say no to idealists who think anybody has the right to live anywhere.

    The taxpayer should have the right to ask what these people add to society and why they should freeload on the rest of us.

    The sooner the Human Rights Act is scrapped the better. It is an economic migrants charter.

  • Comment number 86.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 87.

    No, at the end of the day, France is the property of the French. If you have a problem you have to deal with it and France has one. Britain is vastly overcrowded do we do anything about it, NO.

  • Comment number 88.

    20. At 10:03am on 15 Sep 2010, me me me wrote:

    14. At 09:46am on 15 Sep 2010, Cronk wrote:
    2. At 09:27am on 15 Sep 2010, Beige Rage wrote:

    This appears to be pure racism from France's right wing government.

    ............


    Wow, deporting people who've entered a country illegally is now racist!


    ------

    'Illegal' is just a term that has been made up to appease people like yourself.

    ...........


    'Illegal' is just a term that has been made up to appease people like myself?

    I suppose your term of 'racism' is meant to put you on the moral high ground?

    Feel good about yourself now? You're not a racist but everyone who agrees with France probably is? Okay?! Just wanted to check!

    I'm all for the Burqa ban too! Does that make me a double racist?

  • Comment number 89.

    No. I just wish us Brits had a bit of backbone and took similar actions when needed. I have no love for the French per se, but I do like their no-nonsense attitude!

  • Comment number 90.

    "Not to mention all the drug trade thats going on. For example in my country in the capital vilnius the roma in the "taboras" are living on goverment land they dont pay the electric bill, water or anything at all for that matter, us the taxpayers have to pay their bills. And they say its their right that are being trampled?
    Say what you want to say but I personaly supprot the French. "

    Exactly, well done that man!
    It's not about them being Roma, we're not trying to turn this argument into a racist vs liberal one. What we're saying is, they come into the country illegally, causing crime and asking for handouts and we're asupposed to sit there and take it for the fact that we might be called racist? Give me a break!

  • Comment number 91.

    But what is the role of the Romanian Government in this? I have the impression that they would like to export all their Roma to other countries. They have also given passports to some 100,000 ethnic Romanians in Moldova so that they too can access Europe, claim social security income and free housing etc.

    Is this a beginning to a wholesale invasion thanks to the EU rules?

  • Comment number 92.

    No it is not harsh..people who want to go to another Country have to comply with certain criteria..so why not these people or any for that matter who think they have a God given right to go where they want and blow the rules.

  • Comment number 93.

    The commissioner is an unelected self serving beurocrat and she should keep here interfering nose out of the internal affairs of sovereign nations. I am not normally a lover of the French but in this case and the case of the burkha ban I would dearly like to see our cowardly yellow politicians follow the French example

  • Comment number 94.

    Go France! Makes me proud to live here where common standards of decency are defended rather than im my overly PC country of birth where standards are eroded daily.

    You have to admire the French for protecting their traditional values and in case anyone back home is misled by the bleating lefty UK press about Sarkozy's racist actions in the face of his own roots then please be advised that despite his (admitted) unpopularity in general......he has the support of about 70% of the populace on this one.

  • Comment number 95.

    Each day I read the news and write the news and each day, I notice a little something more outlandish. Taken by themselves, certain news stories seem reasonable and relatively normal. However, when you soak up as much news as I do, you start to see a pattern. The pattern being, that the world has gone mad.

    Common sense has gone out of the window. Money is being burnt supporting people who have never worked a day in their lives and yet a life-long tax payer can be refused life-saving drugs because they're too expensive. Does this not strike anyone else as odd? Inconsistent? Even mentally unhinged?

    There is no consistency in the laws of the land and the general public are being drowned out by national news stories that give entirely the wrong impression. Nine out of ten people I have spoken to are cheering the French on - not only on expelling the Roma but also moving to ban the veil. But news stories that, to the world, are representative of our nation, are saying that Britain is appalled and disgusted by the racism that's happening.

    Well here's a clue folks - there is no racism in what France is doing! People who have settled illegally (!!!) in France, who pay no tax and who may add to the antisocial behaviour, are being asked to leave. And quite rightly. The people of a nation are the ones who make it what it is - it's their money that pays for buildings, for food, for everything and if they don't want to pay for the Roma then so be it!

    In the same vein, there is no racism in banning the veil. To immigrate into a country, you legally agree to integrate into the culture as much as you can. Wearing a veil stops you from doing that and violates that agreement. Add to this the fact that if a non-Muslim wore a balaclava in public, they'd be swiftly arrested and you have a situation where it is one set of rules for one people and one set for another. This, is what creates racism.

    I say well done to France - stand strong and don't cave to peer pressure and bullies!

  • Comment number 96.

    2. At 09:27am on 15 Sep 2010, Beige Rage wrote:
    This appears to be pure racism from France's right wing government.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
    Rubbish - it's pure common sense more like

  • Comment number 97.

    @Carl Showalter

    ....................

    According to the other posts and 'Wikipedia' turns out I wasn't mistaken after all!

    On another point, why do liberals always shout 'racist' or 'racism'? Is it because they're dry of reason but feel the need to say something?


  • Comment number 98.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 99.

    once again 'D' is spouting the usual garbage - but thats an aside

    i never thought i'd be defending the french? - but in this instance i fully support their action

    'vive la france'

    i wish the uk had more balls to stand up and be counted!

  • Comment number 100.

    @Beige Rage, and weak kneed do-gooders everywhere. The UK may have a twisted laissez faire attitude to them but France is merely enforcing it's immigration laws regarding illegal immigrants - this should be an end to the discussion.

 

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