Home > World > Sarkozy’s crackdown on Roma camps adds fuel to criticism at home and abroad

Sarkozy’s crackdown on Roma camps adds fuel to criticism at home and abroad


Washington Post Foreign Service Monday, August 30, 2010; 6:42 PM

PARIS – Much of France has returned from summer vacation in a rancorous mood, disturbed by a crackdown ordered by President Nicolas Sarkozy against illegal Roma camps and naturalized immigrant youths who attack police in troubled suburbs.

The campaign, in which 50 of about 300 Roma, or Gypsy, camps have been destroyed since July, has added to political discontent already swelling over Sarkozy’s plans to push back the retirement age from 60 to 62 and suggestions that a minister in his cabinet, Eric Woerth, used his influence to place his wife in a job helping manage the fortune of France’s wealthiest woman. But the unease over the action against illegal Roma immigrants, most from Romania and Bulgaria, has been particularly strong, with the expulsions drawing criticism at home and abroad.

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