France expels another group of Roma

14th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

France sent a new planeload of 69 Roma back to Romania on Tuesday, even as Brussels threatened legal action over the clampdown on the minority, an immigration official told AFP.

A specially chartered plane left Marseille for Bucharest with the Roma on board, they having agreed to be repatriated in exchange for a cash handout rather than waiting for a judge to rule on their deportation.

"We are used to carrying out this kind of operation. These are not expulsions but humanitarian returns," said immigration official Alain Testot.

Around 1,000 Roma have been expelled since President Nicolas Sarkozy in late July announced a clampdown on travelling minorities that has been widely criticised.

The European Commission on Tuesday threatened legal action against France over its crackdown, drawing a parallel between their treatment and World War II-era deportations.

© 2010 AFP

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