EU commissioner criticism of Roma policy 'unseemly': France

15th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

France's Europe minister Wednesday slammed EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding's "unseemly" criticism of its Roma policy, including a parallel drawn with World War II-era deportations, as a "gaffe."

"This kind of gaffe that she made is unseemly," Pierre Lellouche told RTL radio the day after the European Union's top justice official criticised French mass expulsions of the Roma minority and threatened legal action against Paris.

Reding said she was "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," she underlined, warning of looming infringement proceedings by the European Commission.

France has faced increasing international criticism since President Nicolas Sarkozy in August stepped-up its deportations of Roma to Romania and Bulgaria as part of a security clampdown.

© 2010 AFP

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