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Contentious issue: The Roma

With its deportations of Roma France has triggered a debate about the situation of the largest minority within the EU. The EU Commission also intervened and threatened to take legal action against France. Follow the voices and commentaries in Europe's press here.

Adevârul - Romania | Wednesday, 1. December 2010

Romania plans absurd renaming of Roma

Roma associations demonstrated on Tuesday against a draft law which would see the word "Roma" replaced with the word "Gypsy" in Romania's official language. The move is aimed at preventing associations with the word "Romanian" or the Italian city of Rome. This is nonsense, the daily Adevărul argues: » more

Helsingin Sanomat - Finland | Sunday, 28. November 2010

Travelling funds won't solve Roma problem

After a massive drop in temperatures the city of Helsinki has offered 40 Roma living in a caravan camp money to fund their return journey to Romania. The liberal daily Helsingin Sanomat takes the view that it is the EU's task to give them support where they live now instead: » more

Trud - Bulgaria | Monday, 22. November 2010

Sarkozy wants Schengen without Bulgarians

At the Nato summit in Lisbon French President Nicolas Sarkozy has made Bulgaria's accession to the Schengen zone conditional on a reduced level of corruption in the country. Georgi Sharabov responds with an angry and ironic open letter in the daily Trud: » more

Blog Aktuálně.cz - Czech Republic | Thursday, 4. November 2010

Education the key to the Roma problem

Despite persistent criticism from abroad Roma children are mostly taught at special schools in the Czech Republic. David Zahumenský, chairman of the Czech League of ... » more

Právo - Czech Republic | Friday, 22. October 2010

Litmus test for racism in Czech Republic

The harsh punishment for four Czech neo-Nazis who were sentenced to between 20 and 22 years behind bars has met with a high level of disapproval in the country's online forums. President Václav Klaus has also said he finds the punishment too severe. The leftist daily Právo is appalled by this reaction: » more

Lidové noviny - Czech Republic | Thursday, 21. October 2010

Just punishment for attack on Roma

Four neo-Nazi youths were condemned to prison sentences of between 20 and 22 years for attempted murder on Wednesday in the Czech Republic. The youths had set the home of a Roma family on fire in 2009. The conservative daily Lidové noviny praises the harsh sentences: » more

Novinar - Bulgaria | Wednesday, 13. October 2010

Wooing the votes of Bulgaria's Roma

After the controversial deportations of Roma from France the French parliament has now passed on first reading a draft law that would facilitate future deportations of Roma. The liberal minority party DPS has protested against this in parliament in what the daily Novinar suspects is a bid to gain the votes of Bulgarian Roma in the country's local elections in autumn next year: » more

Salzburger Nachrichten - Austria | Wednesday, 13. October 2010

Immigration means future

Two small girls have been deported from Austria to Kosovo although their mother was lying in hospital. This is just one of many examples of the callousness with which immigration issues are being dealt with across Europe, writes the daily Salzburger Nachrichten: » more

Helsingin Sanomat - Finland | Tuesday, 12. October 2010

EU must exert pressure at Roma Conference

A two-day EU Conference dealing with the Roma issue begins today, Tuesday, in Bucharest. For the daily Helsingin Sanomat the Roma problem is largely home-made: » more

The Independent - United Kingdom | Monday, 11. October 2010

Soft pressure of the EU helps minorities

Roughly one thousand people took part in a Gay Pride parade in Belgrade on Sunday, which was authorised following pressure from the EU. Five thousand police officers protected the demonstrators from roughly ten thousand counter-demonstrators. When the latter rioted and attacked, the police responded with tear gas. That the parade went ahead at all shows how much pressure the EU can exert, writes the left-liberal daily The Independent: » more

Savon Sanomat - Finland | Thursday, 7. October 2010

Begging is un-Finnish

A working group commissioned by the Finnish Interior Ministry recommended on Monday that begging should be banned in public places. The proposal follows months of debate over the growing number of begging Roma who have come to Finland from Eastern Europe. The daily Savon Sanomat is all for a ban: » more

Die Presse - Austria | Thursday, 30. September 2010

EU risks credibility on Roma issue

In the dispute over the deportations of Roma the EU Commission has decided not to initiate breach-of-contract proceedings against France for suspected discrimination against Roma. Instead it has called on Paris to bring its laws in line with the EU directive which guarantees freedom of movement within the EU. This is an embarrassing climb-down for the EU, the daily Die Presse criticises: » more

Tema - Bulgaria | Tuesday, 28. September 2010

Roma fleeing poverty

France's deportations of Roma from Bulgaria and Romania has also focussed attention on the crushing poverty that is the real problem of the two EU newcomers, writes the weekly magazine Tema: » more

Postimees - Estonia | Monday, 27. September 2010

"Roma" sounds like "scrap carts" in Estonian

In Estonian media the word "Roma" is increasingly used instead of the Estonian word "mustlane" (Gypsies) for reasons of political correctness. Not a particularly wise choice, the daily Postimees concludes: » more

Sol - Portugal | Friday, 24. September 2010

Europe agonises over Roma problem

According to media reports, the EU Commission is considering initiating breach-of-contract proceedings against France because of its Roma deportations. The weekly Sol urges an objective approach in the debate: » more

hvg - Hungary | Friday, 24. September 2010

Hungary must tackle Roma integration

Hungary takes over the EU Council presidency for six months starting January 1, 2011. The country must put Roma integration at the top of its agenda during this period, writes the left-liberal weekly Heti Világgazdaság: » more

La Repubblica - Italy | Thursday, 23. September 2010

Jacques Le Goff on Europe's capacity for integration

Commenting on France's deportations of Roma in the left-liberal daily La Repubblica, French historian Jacques Le Goff urges dialogue, pointing to Europe's common roots: » more

Blog Antes pelo Contrário - Portugal | Tuesday, 21. September 2010

Daniel Oliveira on run of the mill racism

Since the deportation of many Roma from France a debate has flared up in Portugal over racism at home. Daniel Oliveira pokes fun in his blog Antes pelo Contrário for the weekly Expresso: » more

Galamus - Hungary | Wednesday, 22. September 2010

"Gypsy crime" retains negative connotations

The Hungarian extreme right-wing party Jobbik has recently pressed ahead with the plan to make denying "Gypsy crime" a punishable offence, like denying the Holocaust or the crimes of communism. The philosopher Ferenc L. Lendvai explains on the left-wing opinion portal Galamus why the term remains unacceptable: » more

Hospodářské noviny - Czech Republic | Wednesday, 22. September 2010

Dangerous campaign posters in the Czech Republic

In the run-up to next month's local elections in the Czech Republic a growing number of campaign posters depict socially marginal groups like the Roma as lazy and stupid. The message: » more

Blog Del alfiler al elefante - Spain | Tuesday, 21. September 2010

Lluís Bassets on Sarkozy's anti-European policy

In the dispute between EU Commissioner for Justice and Fundamental Rights Viviane Reding and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Lluís Bassets takes sides with the commissioner. In his Blog del Afiler al Elefante he writes: » more

Magyar Nemzet - Hungary | Saturday, 18. September 2010

Anikó Fázsy on the uncontrolled language of the media

The deportation of Eastern European Roma from France is not only a social and moral problem, but also a problem of semantics. In liberal democracy many terms have lost their value, writes Anikó Fázsy, chief editor of the literary magazine Nagyvilág, in the weekly supplement of conservative newspaper Magyar Nemzet: » more

El País - Spain | Friday, 17. September 2010

EU Commission sticks to its guns

The EU Commission has stuck to its openly critical stance on France's Roma policy despite heavy attacks from President Nicolas Sarkozy. Unlike so many leading European politicians, the left-liberal daily El País notes: » more

Der Standard - Austria | Friday, 17. September 2010

Narrowmindedness dominates Europe

If the EU is permanently bickering over domestic issues the vision of a strong Europe will never be realised, complains the left-liberal daily Der Standard: » more

The Independent - United Kingdom | Friday, 17. September 2010

Sarkozy should be ashamed

The comparison by EU Commissioner Viviane Reding between France's Roma policy and Nazi Germany was to a certain extent justified, writes the left-liberal daily The Independent: » more

Hospodárske noviny - Slovakia | Friday, 17. September 2010

Even Paris is subject to EU laws

The mud-slinging match at the EU summit on France's deportations of Roma conceals a deeper conflict, the business paper Hospodářské noviny suspects: » more

Novinar - Bulgaria | Wednesday, 15. September 2010

Bulgaria's shameful silence on the Roma issue

EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding has launched into battle with France over its expulsion of Roma, but Bulgaria still hasn't adopted a clear position on the Roma issue, the daily Novinar complains: » more

Gazeta Wyborcza - Poland | Wednesday, 15. September 2010

Right-wing populism a disgrace

EU Commissioner Viviane Reding's criticism of France's Roma expulsions is fully justified, writes the liberal daily Gazeta Wyborcza: » more

Der Standard - Austria | Wednesday, 15. September 2010

Reding plucks up courage against Sarkozy

In contrast to EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso, Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding has unequivocally criticised France's Roma policy, the daily Der Standard writes approvingly: » more

De Standaard - Belgium | Wednesday, 15. September 2010

Coaching in human rights

The announcement that the EU Commission will take legal action against France is long overdue, writes the daily De Standaard referring to the country's Roma policy: » more

The Daily Telegraph - United Kingdom | Wednesday, 15. September 2010

Sarkozy's meagre results

With his Roma policy France's president is currying favour with the country's Right to divert attention from his failed reform policies, writes the conservative paper The Daily Telegraph: » more

Financial Times Deutschland - Germany | Wednesday, 8. September 2010

Remote from citizens and inconsistent

The liberal daily Financial Times Deutschland criticises EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso's state of the European Union address as distant from citizens' interests and inconsistent: » more

Delo - Slovenia | Wednesday, 8. September 2010

Parliamentarians share burden of responsibility

Members of the EU Parliament have criticised Commission President José Manuel Barroso among other things for his silence on the deportations of Roma from France. The daily Delo joins in the critique, but points out that the MEPs also share responsibility for the state of the EU: » more

Mladá fronta dnes - Czech Republic | Monday, 6. September 2010

Sarkozy is an immigrant himself

France's president Nicolas Sarkozy has invited several EU member states to an immigration summit taking place today, Monday, in Paris. The meeting will focus among other things on the Roma issue. The liberal daily Mladá fronta Dnes considers it particularly ironic that the dispute over the Roma was kicked off by Sarkozy of all people: » more

Adevârul - Romania | Friday, 3. September 2010

Change the mentality of the Roma

It serves no purpose to deport the Roma, writes the daily Adevărul, arguing that their mentality has to change: » more

Frankfurter Rundschau - Germany | Friday, 3. September 2010

The EU's unworthy behaviour

The EU is reacting far too hesitantly to France's Roma deportations, writes the left-liberal daily Frankfurter Rundschau: » more

Dagens Nyheter - Sweden | Friday, 3. September 2010

Sweden must clean up its own back yard

Sweden's Minister for European Union Affairs Birgitta Ohlsson has voiced criticism of France's deportations of members of the Roma community. But the outrage at France ... » more

Le Jeudi - Luxembourg | Thursday, 2. September 2010

France tarnishes human rights

France's policy regarding the Roma is intolerant and harks back to the past, writes the weekly Le Jeudi: » more

Blog Aktuálně.cz - Czech Republic | Thursday, 2. September 2010

Czech Republic accuses France of racism

With an eye to France's Roma policy, Czech President Václav Klaus and Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg have accused French President Nicolas Sarkozy of racist tendencies. But publicist Jiří Pehe advises the Czechs to look to their own back yard in his blog for the web portal » more

Hospodárske noviny - Slovakia | Wednesday, 1. September 2010

Eastern Europe agonises over Roma problem

According to the results of police investigations, the killing spree in Bratislava in which among others a Roma family of five was killed was also motivated by racism. The business paper Hospodářské noviny paints a dark picture of the situation of the Roma in Central and Eastern Europe: » more

Sme - Slovakia | Tuesday, 31. August 2010

Shooting spree shakes Slovakia

A heavily-armed man went on a killing spree in the outskirts of Bratislava on Monday, murdering a Roma family of five and two other people and wounding a dozen bystanders before turning his weapon on himself. The liberal daily Sme writes that such images are only known from films or the CNN: » more

Libération - France | Tuesday, 31. August 2010

Sara Vidal on the charm of the Roma

The French writer Sara Vidal evokes the charms of the French Roma in the left-liberal daily Libération: » more

Gândul - Romania | Friday, 27. August 2010

Not about human rights

Even China has criticised the Roma policy of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, but for dubious reasons, writes the daily Gândul, adding that however even within the EU there is no consensus on the issue: » more

Népszabadság - Hungary | Friday, 27. August 2010

Roma deportations as an election strategy

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has blamed Roma immigrants for France's rising crime rate, the left-liberal daily Népszabadság writes. But the paper believes this is just an early start to a dirty election campaign: » more

Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | Friday, 27. August 2010

Paris violates basic rights

France has invited certain countries to attend a ministerial summit on illegal immigration on September 6. Among those invited are Italy, Britain, Germany, Spain and Greece. In fact the idea behind the exclusive talks is to qualify the freedom of movement of the Roma within the EU, writes the left-liberal Süddeutsche Zeitung: » more

Dnevnik - Bulgaria | Thursday, 26. August 2010

The Roma are Bulgaria's problem

The socialist MEP from Bulgaria Kristian Vigenin on Wednesday criticised the EU's stance regarding France's forced repatriation of Bulgarian Roma and called for the creation of an EU commissioner post for European minorities. But Bulgaria must tackle its minority problems independently, writes the daily Denvnik: » more

Die Presse - Austria | Thursday, 26. August 2010

France dupes the EU

Following widespread criticism of France's deportation of Roma groups, an international ministerial conference on asylum and illegal immigration will take place in Paris on September 6. The meeting undermines the EU's migration policy, writes the daily Die Presse: » more

La Stampa - Italy | Tuesday, 24. August 2010

Deportation of Roma illegal

France is being attacked from all sides except Italy for expelling Sinti and Roma. Italy's Interior MInsiter Roberto Maroni on Monday spoke out in favour of expelling EU citizens when they are too much of a burden on the social system of the host country. But deportation is illegal even when foreigners do place more of a burden on the social system than EU rules permit, writes the liberal daily La Stampa: » more

Magyar Nemzet - Hungary | Saturday, 21. August 2010

Liberals accept deportation of Roma

The deportations of Eastern European Roma from France would have triggered a storm of protest throughout Europe just a decade ago, writes the conservative daily Magyar Nemzet: » more

România Liberâ - Romania | Friday, 20. August 2010

Romania's fit of multiculturalism hampers integration

France began on Thursday with the deportation of Roma to Romania. The conservative daily România Liberă examines the reasons for their failed integration in Romania: » more

Helsingin Sanomat - Finland | Friday, 20. August 2010

Finland should campaign for Roma at EU level

As in other European countries, in Finland too there is a debate about the integration of Roma from Eastern Europe. Frank Johansson, the director of Amnesty International Finland, writes in the daily Helsingin Sanomat that the country has been successful in integrating the minority and should become more active on the Roma issue at an EU level: » more

La Repubblica - Italy | Thursday, 19. August 2010

Deportation good for election campaign

The deportation of Roma will help French President Nicolas Sarkozy's campaign for re-election in 2012, writes the left-liberal daily La Repubblica: » more

Diário de Notícias - Portugal | Thursday, 19. August 2010

Deportation just a ploy

France's president Nicolas Sarkozy is capitalising on the deportation of the Roma, writes the daily Diário de Notícias: » more

De Standaard - Belgium | Thursday, 19. August 2010

Don't divert attention from real problems

The condemnation of the expulsion of Roma from France is justified, writes the daily De Standaard: » more

Novinar - Bulgaria | Wednesday, 18. August 2010

EU has double standards

The Bulgarian daily Novinar adopts a harsh tone in the debate about the deportation of Roma from France. The newspaper accuses European politicians of applying double standards as regards the Roma and recalls Bulgaria's failed attempt to tear down a Roma settlement in the middle of Sofia: » more

Dilema Veche - Romania | Wednesday, 18. August 2010

The Roma have no lobby

France has announced it will deport roughly 700 Roma by the end of August. The deportations to Romania and Bulgaria, among other countries, are to begin on Thursday, and French security forces have started disbanding illegal Roma settlements. The Roma are being used as scapegoats, writes the weekly Dilema Veche: » more

Sme - Slovakia | Tuesday, 17. August 2010

Sarkozy uses Roma as scapegoats

Politicians from the conservative party of French President Nicolas Sarkozy have criticised the government's approach to tackling the Roma problem after Sarkozy announced plans to deport criminal Roma. The liberal daily paper Sme is also critical: » more

Blog Noir tout simplement - France | Thursday, 12. August 2010

France loses its reputation

The UN committee against discrimination has accused France of "a new rise in racist acts" with regard to its Roma policy. In his blog for the weekly Le Nouvel Obervateur, Patrick Lozes, president of the black civil rights organisation CRAN, fears a radicalisation of French society: » more

Il Sole 24 Ore - Italy | Friday, 13. August 2010

Inefficient policy

It is doubtful that France's Roma policy will be effective and it puts a burden on other countries, the business paper Il Sole 24 Ore writes in view of Interior Minister Brice Hortefuex's announcement that 700 Roma are to be deported: » more

Novinar - Bulgaria | Thursday, 12. August 2010

Bulgaria leaves its Roma in the lurch

Bulgaria is remaining silent because it has no interest in the Bulgarian Roma living in France returning to their home country, writes the daily Novinar: » more

Tema - Bulgaria | Monday, 9. August 2010

The Roma problem needs a pan-European answer

Given the French government's decision to deport illegal Roma back to their home countries, the weekly Tema proposes an alternative, European-wide approach: » more

România Liberâ - Romania | Monday, 9. August 2010

EU fails on Roma integration

After the latest clashes between Roma and the French police, France's government announced its decision last Friday to dismantle an illegal settlement of Romanian Roma. The British expert on Romania, Tom Gallagher, analyses EU policies towards Roma in the daily paper Romania Libera: » more

The Guardian - United Kingdom | Monday, 2. August 2010

Hungary punishes discrimination against Roma

The Hungarian Supreme Court has awarded damages to Roma children, because they were segregated from non-Roma children. Two lawyers welcome this decision in the daily newspaper The Guardian: » more

Tages-Anzeiger - Switzerland | Friday, 30. July 2010

Security man Sarkozy has failed

President Nicolas Sarkozy's announcement that he intends to take a "hard line" against the Roma in France is a rhetorical manoeuvre designed to distract attention ... » more

Le Monde - France | Thursday, 29. July 2010

Don't lump everyone together

French President Nicolas Sarkozy has declared a "war on criminality". But by failing to distinguish between population groups he is stigmatising both the French and the European Roma, warns the daily Le Monde: » more

Der Standard - Austria | Friday, 30. July 2010

The problem is poverty

The French president has drawn much criticism for his announcement to take steps against "criminal" Roma and dissolve 300 camps. Nicolas Sarkozy is ignoring real social questions in the view of the left-liberal daily Der Standard: » more

Upsala Nya Tidning - Sweden | Friday, 30. July 2010

A disgrace for the EU

The liberal daily Upsala Nya Tidning condemns President Nicolas Sarkozy's plans to take action against the Roma as a disgrace for the entire European Union: » more

România Liberâ - Romania | Wednesday, 28. July 2010

Romania should integrate the Roma

The French Secretary of State for European Affairs, Pierre Lellouche, said on Tuesday that Romania will jeopardise its accession to the Schengen Area planned for March 2011 if it fails to do more to integrate the Roma population. Many Roma are currently leaving Romania for France and Italy. Laurentiu Mihu welcomes Lellouche's announcement in the daily România Liberă: » more

Libération - France | Friday, 23. July 2010

Sarkozy discriminates against Roma

A police officer killed a 22-year-old Roma in the French department of Loir-et-Cher on the weekend for unknown reasons. Demonstrators then sacked a police station during the subsequent unrest. The daily Libération sees French President Nicolas Sarkozy's idea, prompted by the rioting, of initiating a discussion of the problems caused by the Roma community as discriminating: » more


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Further articles on the subject » Integration, » Migration, » Minorities, » Bulgaria, » Europe, » Romania, » France
More from the press review on the subject » Integration, » Migration, » Minorities, » Bulgaria, » Europe, » Romania, » France

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