French premier urges EU plan for illegal Roma

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
September 21, 2010 17:41

PARIS — French Prime Minister Francois Fillon has urged the development of a Europe-wide plan to deal with illegal Gypsy camps and to improve living conditions for Gypsies in eastern Europe.

Fillon warned the European Commission against making "hasty" decisions to take France to court over its evacuations of Gypsies, also know as Roma.

France has been accused of unfairly targeting illegal Roma immigrants in recent expulsions.

Fillon asked in a speech Tuesday how France "can accept that there are shantytowns on the edges of our cities?"

He called for an EU-wide approach to the Roma, including better integration "in their countries of origin."

France has expelled more than 1,000 Roma, mostly to Romania, in recent weeks.


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