A European Union summit opened in Brussels Sept. 16 amid continued tension over the French expulsion of Roma migrants and a threat to take Nicolas Sarkozy’s government to the European Court of Justice. The EU justice commissioner, Viviane Reding, expressed regret for comparing French treatment of Roma with that of Jews during World War II, but insisted she was right to rebuke the French government.
Reding stated two days earlier:
I personally have been appalled by a situation which gave the impression that people are being removed from a Member State of the European Union just because they belong to a certain ethnic minority. This is a situation I had thought Europe would not have to witness again after the Second World War.
Paris also blasted comments by former Cuban leader Fidel Castro that France is carrying out a “racial holocaust” against the Roma community. “The use of ‘holocaust’ by Mr Castro demonstrates his ignorance of history and disdain towards its victims,” said French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero. “Such words are unacceptable.” In a clear reference to Cuba’s treatment of dissidents, Valero added: “That Fidel Castro shows an interest in human rights is truly revolutionary.” (Romea.cz, Sept. 11)
See our last post on France and the Roma.