France under attack for Roma deportations
The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance on Aug. 24 joined critics of French mass deportations of Roma who overstay their visas and summary demolition of their encampments. The commission accused the French government of "stigmatizing Roma migrants" and holding them "collectively responsible for criminal offenses." On Aug. 22, Pope Benedict XVI urged French pilgrims "to accept human diversity," and Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, the archbishop of Paris, was promised a meeting with the interior minister to discuss the Roma policy after he denounced it as a "circus." (AP, AFP, NYT, Aug. 26)
Paris has announced a summit on immigration for Sept. 6, with invitees including interior ministers from Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and Greece. But neither Romania or Bulgaria have been invited—the very countries the Roma are being deported to. (PressEurop, Aug. 24)
See our last post on France and the Roma.