August 19, 2010
The Roma expulsions from France are stirring controversy. It is difficult not to take sides. What I dislike most in the whole story, is hypocrisy. Sarkozy has a low rating and is obviously trying to please his core right-wing electorate. As the presidential elections will get closer, he will find other subjects, to appear as a centrist.
Sarkozy would not be able to achieve much with those expulsions and he knows it. With the 300 euros the Roma get from the French authorities upon leaving France, they could buy their next ticket back, and most of them certainly will.
French officials are calling for the integration of Roma in their places of origin. But Roma are generally nomads, and to my knowledge France has not tried to integrate “les gens du voyage” to communities in France.
I think Roma need our help to fight for their rights, which are also our rights, as we are all citizens of Europe. Their stigmatisation as criminals is a very bad precedent, and they should not feel abandoned. This is why I say: I am a Roma, as JFK said Ich bin ein Berliner.Georgi Gotev