Tuesday, August 24, 2010



The deportation of Romanian and Bulgarian Roma from France is an act of political cynicism, is the overall opinion expressed by the commentaries in leading US media

Forced deportation, en mass banishment, expulsion are the terms used to describe the eviction started last week. "The Roma in Europe: Persecuted and misunderstood" was the title CNN chose to summarize the attitude of the most of the US analysts towards the issue. Although all of the media also inform about the official French version, according to which the Romani leave France on their own free accord, none obviously believes in the "deliberateness" traded against a couple of hundred of euro.

The reasons aired by Nicolas Sarkozy's government for the large-scale deportation are commented with skepticism. The most of the US analysts do not see the violations committed by the Romani as enough ground for such radical measures on France's behalf. According to the US media's comments, this act contradicts EU rules and creates a precedent endangering the rights of all of the Union's citizens.

According to the New York Times and CNN, the en masse deportation questions France's allegations that only certain persons of Roma origin with criminal past are being deported. The comments in the CNN run along the tune that France actually expulses a whole minority. Wall Street Journal and a number of other media express the opinion that the problem is not so much with the Romani naughty behaviour but rather with Sarkozy's need for a scapegoat to distract the voters' attention from the political scandals in the government.

The en masse and forced expulsion of Roma from France stirs unpleasant associations with the Americans - and namely the Night of the Broken Glass , the Nazi anti-Jewish pogrom in Germany short before the start of WWII. The Voice of America quotes experts' opinion stating that the French Government could trigger a new wave of racism and xenophobia in Europe.

According to information from the World Bank, the isolation of the Romani in only four European countries with large Romani population generates losses amounting to 5.7 billion euro a year and the fiscal expenses - at 2 billion euro a year, the media reports.

Bulgaria loses 526 million euro a year and the fiscal losses are estimated to 370 million euro. In Romania the economic losses amount to 887 million euro.
It's good to see a response in the US media about the treatment of Romani in Europe.  It is interesting how long these types of deportations have been going on with little notice.  Italy, France, Ireland, Germany........

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