The French Interior Minister Manuel Valls (in picture) and the Minister for European Affairs Bernard Cazeneuve are coming to Romania on Wednesday (September 12 ) to discuss the situation of Roma people directly at the source, the French president Francois Hollande said yesterday.
“From Wednesday, the Interior Minister and the Minister for European Affairs will be in Romania for this issue to be dealt at the source,” said Hollande in an interview with French television channel TF1.
The president said that the current situation, in which groups of Roma are living in France in makeshift camps, cannot continue. He also defended the interior minister’s decision to dismantle some Roma camps, with some reservations about the process.
France has recently come under fire from human rights organizations for further deportations of Roma people and the forced closure of camps by security services. Previous president Nicolas Sarkozy was widely condemned for his decision to start deporting Roma from France, while current president Francois Hollande said before the election that he would stop the deportations.
The French Interior Minister himself has been at the center of a story which involved Romanians. Four Romanians were recently sentenced to jail for having stolen and used the credit card of the French Interior Minister Manuel Valls’ mother. The minister’s mother was shopping in a Paris store in May when two of the four Romanians watched her while she was entering her PIN number, while the other two later on stole her credit card from her bag.
Ioana Toader, email@example.com
(photo source: French Embassy to UK)