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Roma: The EU speaks of a “disgrace” and threatens France with legal action.

Translated Friday 17 September 2010, by Gene Zbikowski and reviewed by Gene Zbikowski

The European Union’s top justice official, Viviane Reding, angrily criticized France’s policy on Roma minorities on Sept. 14.

The European Commission announced on Sept. 14 that it would initiate infringement proceedings against France for violating EU laws in the affair of the controversial deportations of Bulgarian and Romanian Roma minorities.

“I’m personally appalled by a situation which gave the impression that people are being removed from a member state of the European Union just because they belong to a certain ethnic minority. This is a situation I had thought Europe wouldn’t have to witness again after the Second World War,” Reding said.

“Enough is enough!” European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Viviane Reding exclaimed to France at a press conference, saying that the attitude of the French government, which had dissimulated the existence of the Aug. 5 memo specifically targeting the Roma minority for deportation “is a disgrace.”

The publication of a new memo changes nothing. “It’s not enough to change the words. The behavior’s got to be changed, too,” Mrs. Reding insisted.

“Incompatible with fundamental European values."

“I’m going to be very clear: discrimination on the basis of race and ethnic origin has no place in Europe. It’s incompatible with the values on which the European Union has been built.”

She announced her intention to request the opening of proceedings for the infringement of European Union legislation against Paris, for the inadequate application of a European directive on the free circulation of European citizens, and the “discriminatory application” of this text.

“I intend to propose (this initiative) to the president of the Commission,” she said, indicating that a decision should be taken “within the next two weeks.”

The proceedings follow very precise steps and can result in subpoenaing a member state to appear before the European court of justice in Luxemburg, which can find the state guilty. But the proceedings can take years.

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