Expulsion of Roma from France no solution: Romanian minister

30th August 2010, Comments 0 comments

France sending Roma back to Romania on a voluntary basis with cash is "not a solution", Romania's foreign minister said Monday, urging dialogue between the two countries and at the EU level on the minority.

"These voluntary repatriations in exchange for money that our fellow Roma citizens receive for coming back to Romania are not a solution," Teodor Baconschi said in an interview with Romanian national television TVR.

He insisted on the need for "funds, political will, bilateral and European dialogue and concrete programmes" to improve the lot of the minority, which French authorities have recently targeted in a crackdown.

"We are counting on honest cooperation from Paris. Lodging, better access to education (and) the health system are needed. That can't be done in 48 hours," he said.

France launched a country-wide crackdown on Roma earlier this month after a group of Gypsies allegedly attacked a police station.

The government deported 283 Roma last Thursday, bringing the total number of Romanian and Bulgarian Roma expelled so far this year to 8,313, up from 7,875 expelled throughout last year.

© 2010 AFP

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