Saturday, August 28, 2010

French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s deportation of Roma Gypsies, a symptom the EU must tackle internal immigration problem, regulation is required

Dear All

The European Union is a good thing and I am a fan of it but like most large institutions it needs a lot of work to make it function smoothly.

It is now stands as a vast empire of 27 countries which some describe as ‘the United States of Europe’.

One of the problems that have been ignored in the EU over decades is internal immigration within the EU itself.

This has lead to problems as sudden shifts of vast amounts of people have created problems which were never properly envisaged.

One of the freedoms laid out in the EU Charter is freedom of movement so citizens can work in other member states.

Good idea?

Yes, very much so as it spreads culture and creates a European bond in the community.

In France the European dream has turned sour slightly for Roma Gypsies as Nicolas Sarkozy, the French President is destroying gipsy camps and deporting Romanians back to their homeland.

The reason for this; is his claims that the Roma, many of whom arrived in France after Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007, are responsible for an outbreak of crime.

Figures show Roma crime has risen 140 per cent in Paris each year since 2007.

Sarkozy has decided to act after civil unrest, the trigger was a mass attack in July on a police station in the normally idyllic Loire Valley town of Saint-Aignan, 150 miles south of Paris which saw a 400-strong mob of Roma armed with iron bars and baseball bats set fire to cars and threatened officers.

The riot had been sparked by the fatal shooting by a gendarme of a 22-year-old gipsy who was being investigated for burglary.

Following the disturbance, Sarkozy immediately called an emergency cabinet meeting and then ordered the ‘systematic evacuation’ of all the illegal camps and squats.

Interior Minister, Brice Hortefeux said:

“As usual, Sarkozyism is out of step with the elites but in step with society.”

Immigration is a debating area which few care to tread because of the racism tag which is generally thrown about and no aspiring politician wants to be branded a racist.

Very quickly this subject becomes emotive as slogans replace detail and solutions.

The policy by Sarkozy is simple but is one fraught with controversy but it is a policy going forward.

As EU Citizens, the Roma have a right to return but having the right doesn’t solve the problem, a problem which is not unique to them.

Just as the internal market is EU regulated so must the internal movement of labour in the union must be also.

A criteria has to be set in place so that safeguards exist that allows the movement of labour but managed so that people can join the society they want to live in.

Living in squalor and begging on the street is unacceptable and creates an underclass and fuels tension.

Lack of regulation and thought has allowed a massive problem to be caused and this is the result.

It is a problem that can be fixed but it must be fixed at the source, the European Parliament

In a southern Paris suburb of Choisy-le-Roi, there was a Gypsy Camp, typical of hundreds across France. Situated on wasteland on the outskirts of the city it had no electricity and the only water available was that taken from the nearby canal.

The people there lived in squalor and the 70 people struggled to find suitable work, this isn’t the European dream as envisaged in the free movement of labour.

It is perverse.

Sarkozy has labelled the camps as ‘sources of illegal trafficking, of profoundlyshocking living standards, of exploitation of children for begging, of prostitution and crime’.

It is time that the European Union addressed the problem of internal immigration in a systematic manner.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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