“France seeks end to Roma row with access to jobs market
21 August 2012 | 18:00 | FOCUS News Agency
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Paris. France’s Socialist government will Wednesday seek to end a row over its treatment of ethnic Roma migrants in a move that could result in Bulgarian and Romanian citizens being granted the right to work in the country, AFP reported.
President Francois Hollande and his Interior Minister Manuel Valls have come under fire this summer for sanctioning the dismantling of several Roma camps and repatriating hundreds of their residents to Bulgaria and Romania.
Valls has insisted the clearance of “illegal and squalid” camps, which are home to an estimated 15,000 Roma across France, is necessary and justifiable.
But several leading Socialists, Green members of the government and Roma rights groups have criticised him for continuing the controversial policies of former president Nicolas Sarkozy.
With divisions in the government becoming increasingly apparent, Hollande has ordered ministers to thrash out their differences at talks on Wednesday.
Housing minister Cecile Duflot, a Green, has called for a moratorium on the dismantling of camps unless residents can be offered alternative accommodation or sites.
Valls regards that as unrealistic, arguing that primary responsibility for the well-being of the Roma lies with their countries of origin, where they have been discriminated against for centuries.
The interior minister has however indicated that he would be favourable to allowing Roma to work in France.”