The Union Romani Portugal, which represents the Gypsy community in Portugal, claims today to be “perplexed” and “highly concerned” by the measures announced by the French government of Nicolas Sarkozy targeting the community in his country.
The organization expresses, in a note sent to the LUSA news agency, that its members are “perplexed by the form in which the French government seeks to resolve the issue of the lack of policy in the area of education, health. , housing, justice and other social aspects (…) by choosing the facility in front of this resolution of the problems by the expulsion of an entire community. “
The French Interior Minister, Brice Hortefeux, announced last week a set of measures against violence within a Gypsy community, since the incidents of July 16 where a group of 50 people attacked in Saint Aignan, au center of France, in protest against the death of a young person at the hands of the police. These measures include the dismantling in the next three months of 300 to 600 illegal camps that currently exist throughout the country and the possibility of expelling Gypsies, whatever their nationality, who would commit crimes against “public order”:
“The French government is turning into a dead letter the European charter signed in Paris in 1991 which enshrined the rights of minorities and mainly of the Gypsy minority”, defended the Portuguese Romani Union, which underlines that the French community has between 15,000 and 20,000 people. of French families and around 400,000 nomads.
In the same statement, the organization claims to be “highly concerned” by the situation which it considers to be an attack by the French government, but also “by the disempowerment of the European Commission” in the face of a reality which is registered as a new heinous episode and reminds us of the sad times of Hitlerite ”. “If possibly the international bodies did not take a position in the face of this escalation, this could inevitably lead to the spread of other acts in other European countries and open the door to enormous social conflicts in the near future that should be avoided by all. our strengths ”, recalls this organization.
The Portuguese Romani Union has again shown its solidarity with the Gypsy community residing on French territory, and concludes that it will follow “with the greatest attention the development of events and will try to find, together with other international organizations, how to avoid the implementation of French government measures ”.