France to change law to soothe EU concerns on Roma: ministry

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France will modify its laws on the free movement of EU citizens in order to address concerns raised by the European Commission following its crackdown on Roma Gypsies, the foreign ministry said Friday.

Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said France was "disposed" to transfer certain measures from the Union's directive on free movement into French national law in order to increase the transparency and clarity of the law.

France's commitment to ensuring that European citizens can travel and work where they like came under scrutiny in recent months after President Nicolas Sarkozy launched a drive to send Roma migrants back to eastern Europe.

The European Commission has threatened to take legal action against Paris unless it incorporates the free movement directive more completely into French law or if it is found to have targeted migrants by ethnic background.

France insists there was nothing racist in the moves against the Roma, whom it says were rounded up simply because they had overstayed the period they were allowed to stay in France without any visible means of financial support.

© 2010 AFP

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