EU justice chief rejects France-Nazi comparison

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France's expulsions of Roma migrants have no parallel with World War II deportations, EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said on Wednesday.

"I regret the interpretations that are distracting attention from a problem that must be solved now. I in no way wanted to draw a parallel between World War II and the actions of the French government today," Reding said in an interview with AFP.

"I instead defended, in the name of the [European Commission], the principles and values on which our European Union was founded," she said.

Reding's comments were acknowledged by French President Nicolas Sarkozy's office.

On Tuesday, Reding angered France after she warned of legal action over its expulsion of hundreds of Roma, which she likened to World War II-era deportations.

"This is a situation I had thought Europe would not have to witness again after World War II," she said.

© 2010 AFP

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