France expells Roma amidst accusations of xenophobia and populism

By Andy Rice 20 August 2010

On Thursday a plane loaded with 79 Roma (often referred to as Gypsies) left France for Romania, in an act described by the French government as a deportation, but by critics as an act of xenophobia. The French government dismantled over 51 Roma camps in the past three weeks, which it says are illegal. Roma from Romania and Bulgaria can move into France if they have a European Union passport, and can find permanent work, study or some other way to become settled in France, or face deportation. Those who agreed to leave were given a $385 resettlement sum. Another 100 Roma are scheduled to be flown out of France today. Human rights groups in France said that the deportation is pointless, since the Roma in question are settled in France, and will return regardlessly. Read more: CNN and the New York Times.