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French Government anti – Roma drive is ‘debased populism’


27 Aug 2010


Social Europe & Jobs

PES President calls letter to EU Commission a blatant attempt to legitimise national policy

Press Statement – Party of European Socialists (PES)

7 June 2010

“The French Government anti-Roma policy is an affront to basic EU standards and a form of debasing populism”, said Party of European Socialists’ (PES) President, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen. “French President Sarkozy’s support for these incendiary policies, while simultaneously stating that they will not be dissuaded by opponents who just want to cause controversy, is political cynicism of the worst kind”.

The PES leader criticised the decision of French Prime Minister, Francois Fillon to write to the European Commission demanding that they ‘improve co-ordination with the Romanian and Bulgarian authorities’ calling it; “a blatant attempt by the Sarkozy Government to confer unwarranted European legitimacy on this bullying national policy”. The action follows on from the decision by the French Government to organise a high level conference on immigration. The 6 September event has been dubbed an ‘anti-Roma summit’ by the press.

Mr. Rasmussen stated that; “Instead of putting pressure on the European Commission and organising reactionary summit meetings, the French government should be focussing on its responsibility to uphold the fundamental rights of all European citizens. A commitment to social inclusion, particularly by securing employment,  is the way forward on this issue, not stigmatisation and expulsion”.

The PES also called on the Romanian and Bulgarian ruling parties, both members of the European Peoples Party (EPP), the same European political group to which the French Government belongs, to disassociate themselves from the Sarkozy administration’s actions.


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