France defies EU criticism on Gypsy expulsions

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
September 16, 2010 23:42




BRUSSELS – French President Nicolas Sarkozy upended a European Union summit to defend his own nation's honor, vowing Thursday to keep clearing out illegal immigrant camps despite accusations that France is being racist and unfairly targets Gypsies.

The summit was supposed to be a forum for molding a unifying European foreign policy, but it turned into a drama of discord — with the outspoken Sarkozy usurping the podium to preach his policies and lash out at his critics.

Sarkozy said comments by EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding that linked the expulsions to the mass deportations of World War II were "disgusting."

"I am head of the French state. I cannot let my nation be insulted," Sarkozy told reporters.


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