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29 September 2013

France up to its traditional persecution of ethnic & religious minorities again / Bob delays Paris holiday to 2062

Ambassador François Delattre
Embassy of France to the United States
Washington DC USA
27 September 2013
Ambassador Delattre:
Interior Minister Manuel Valls' call to forcibly deport Rom / Romani from France resurrects France's long and disgusting history of persecution of ethnic and religious minorities.
I am a Jew, France's favorite target of persecution and genocide.
But whenever France slides into persecution of her Jews, France always finds space in her railway freight cars for Rom / Romani.
While France continues to sanction Valls' political "red meat" scapegoat campaign against Rom, I will regard France as a dangerous and toxic human rights zone, and urge all Americans of decency and good will to avoid France like the plague.
My feelings about Valls' call for forced deportation of Rom echo the Commission of the European Union:

"Free movement, like the freedom of residence, in another country are fundamental rights."
-- Olivier Bailly, EU Commission spokesman
Valls is filth, and the government of France perfumes itself with his filth while it tolerates his call for the forcible expulsion of Rom lawfully living in France.
Robert Merkin
Chesterfield, Massachusetts USA


Agence France Presse / AFP
Thursday 26 September 2013

Brussels rap for France
as Roma row erupts


Paris (AFP) -- The European Commission on Wednesday issued a rare public rebuke to France after Interior Minister Manuel Valls defended a call for tens of thousands of ethnic Roma to be kicked out.

"Free movement, like the freedom of residence, in another country are fundamental rights," said Olivier Bailly, a spokesman for the EU's executive arm, the Commission.

The Commission, however, stopped short of threatening Paris with sanctions, acknowledging that the government was within its rights to expel migrants who had not found work or other means of support after three months.

As well as infuriating Brussels, Valls triggered an outcry from rights groups and some of his colleagues by saying any Roma not working should be "delivered back to the borders", describing their way of life as "extremely different from ours," and claiming they will never integrate into French society.

The latter remark triggered the ire of his cabinet colleague, Arnaud Montebourg, who pointedly alluded to Valls' own status as the Barcelona-born son of Spanish immigrants.

"A theory that such and such a person or such and such a people will never, ever be able to integrate just doesn't stand up," Montebourg said.

"That's what they said about the Italians, that's what they said about the Spanish, it's what they said about the Portuguese, and what they said about the Arabs.

"Decreeing in advance that it is impossible seems to me excessive and is worthy of being corrected."

Valls hit back: "I've got nothing to correct. My remarks only shock those who don't know the subject."

'It's not France's job'
He then repeated remarks that Amnesty International described as likely to "perpetuate stereotypes and encourage animosity" towards the 20,000 plus Roma currently living in France in makeshift camps.

"The majority (of Roma) should be delivered back to the borders," Valls said. "We are not here to welcome these people. I'd remind you of (former Socialist premier) Michel Rocard's statement: It's not France's job to deal with the misery of the whole world."

Controversy over the issue is not new for Valls, a sharp-suited 51-year-old regarded as one of the stars of President Francois Hollande's struggling administration.

The Commission has repeatedly questioned the legality of the government encouraging local councils to systematically dismantle illegal Roma camps and put the expelled residents on flights back to Bulgaria and Romania.

The policy has also been criticised by the UN's human rights arm. Roma organisations in France are threatening to bring a legal case against Valls for incitement to racial hatred and SOS Racisme, whose founder is now the Socialists' party leader, said Wednesday his latest comments had "crossed a red line."

It is all water off a duck's back to a ferociously ambitious, hugely energetic politician who appears to thrive on taking a stand against his own party's stance.

Polls repeatedly suggest Valls is among the most admired members of Hollande's government with a cross-party appeal that has made him one of the early favourites to be the Left's candidate in the 2017 presidential elections.

Sceptics have also been quick to point out that Valls' hardline on the Roms could play well with voters in municipal elections next year.

"There are elections in the air in France," observed Viviane Reding, the European Commissioner who has repeatedly taken France to task over the treatment of the Roma.

"Every time they don't want to talk about important things like the budget and debt, the Roma issue gets brought up."

Under pressure from the EU and at home, Valls agreed last year that Roma camps should not be cleared without alternative housing plans being put in place first.

But that policy has rarely been applied, rights groups say, and Reding said France had made no attempt to access EU funds available to promote Roma integration.

Valls maintains that forced evictions are preferable to tolerating squalid, insanitary camps and has defended repatriations as a better alternative than allowing Roma in France to continue working for organised criminal gangs.

But his approach has been criticised as inhuman by charities and a waste of money by France's public spending watchdog.

Despite thousands of government-financed repatriations, the numbers of Roma in France have remained stable, reflecting the reality that anyone flown back to Romania or Bulgaria can immediately return to France under EU freedom of movement laws.

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