New group of expelled Roma arrive in Bucharest

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More than 200 Roma arrived in Bucharest on Tuesday after being expelled from France as part of a widely criticised clampdown on travelling minorities, according to border police.

A total of 222 Roma landed at Bucharest's Aurel Vlaicu airport on two charter flights from Paris and the southern city of Marseille, police said.

Many of the Roma, who received a cash payment to leave France, complained about poor economic prospects in Romania.

"Here we have nothing and we have no chance to earn our living," 43-year-old Voichita, who would not give her full name, told AFP.

"French people are good, they gave us food and clothes. I'll stay here for two weeks and then I will go back," said Flutura, a young mother who admits she used to beg in Paris.

More than 1,000 Roma have been expelled since President Nicolas Sarkozy announced late July a clampdown on travelling minorities.

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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