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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Liberté, égalité, fraternité - not this time!

The vacation is over, even though for some of us, it never really started. Today, I want to write about the recent French madness, to deport Roma people (gypsies) from France back to their native Bulgaria and Romania.
This campaign is wrong on so many fronts, it is hard to believe it is actually happening. And yet it did!

But let's start with the news.

Commission closely following France's Roma expulsions 

19 August 2010
The European Commission is following very closely France's dealings with its Roma, who the authorities are planning to expel in groups, Commission representatives said yesterday (18 August), after being asked by the Brussels press whether the expulsions were in line with EU legislation.

Journalists wanted to know the basis on which the expulsions of 700 people were being made, as EU legislation requires each case to be examined individually. A Commission spokesperson replied by saying that he would give such details later, as for the time being the EU executive was monitoring the situation.
Teodor Basconschi, Romania's foreign minister, voiced fears of mounting xenophobia in France over the Roma expulsions. source

Roma controversy rocks French cabinet

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, formerly a high-profile humanitarian activist, said he had considered resigning over the controversy sparked by the expulsions of Roma from France to their home countries, Bulgaria and Romania. Even Prime Minister François Fillon admitted he had "differences" with President Nicolas Sarkozy over his immigration policy. source 

As I said, this is so outrageous, it's hard to believe it's happening.  So, France decides to send home few thousands of European citizens, because they don't like their presence and everybody keeps quite? Isn't it amazing how Barroso didn't criticize France during his speech in the EP? I find it most worrying. Because I can understand why one country will make something so stupid, I cannot understand why the President of the EC will just try to ignore the problem and pretend this never happened.
Well, it did happen, Mr. Barroso! And we're all victims of your incompetence to be a good President of the EC. Because the President doesn't avoid problems, s/he looks for them and try to fix them before they got out of control. Because we're all losing from what happened in France.
Why? Oh, it's very simple, because the freedom of movement is one of the most fundamental aspects of the EU. Without it, we don't have the EU, we're back to the paranoia of wartime. We hear that all European citizens should obey the law. Ok, I have no problems with that. Were those people arrested, did they have charges against them, did they get a fair trail and did they receive justice? No, not at all. They were PAID to leave France and go back to their countries. And not only this, but France is considering closing the borders for Bulgaria and Romania because they cannot handle their citizens. I'm sorry, I got the impressions that now we're free to live anywhere we like, as long as we obey the laws of that country. The laws, not its xenophobic and racists moods. Because you cannot convince me this is not a racist move. You cannot convince me that if 1000 spanish people decided to camp in France or in Germany, the problem would be handled the same manner - by bribing the people to leave and involving the media and other countries in a propaganda against their own country . No mister, not at all!
The problem is not that those people are criminals - if they are, they must face justice, not to be sent home with a nice gift of 300 euros! I think any French person (or any nationality) will require their country to provide the justice they pay for with their taxes. So this is not the case, we're not talking about justice. We're talking about comfort. About xenophobic comfort, mixed with some even more xenophobic attitude towards the Eastern European neighbors.
I'm not Roma, I'm not a human right activist. I'm just a normal person. A decent European citizen. Yes, I'm Bulgarian and that makes me partial. So what? Someone has to be partial. Someone has to have opinion based on more than xenophobia. Someone has to face the real issue. And the real issue is very simple. Sarkozy is making his "peuple" happy, he's showing them he's the man and the poorest EU member states are supposed to keep quite and be ashamed. Well, I'm not ashamed. We have the right to be the poorest, just as some countries have the privilege to be the richest. I don't envy them, I'm not angry on them, although I'll sure like to be richer. But those people are the way they are. It's hard to integrate someone without education, with different tradition and understanding of life. It's even harder when the richest, mostly criminal gypsies are so well integrated with the local police bosses, that they invite them to the weddings of their under-age daughters, that they make gifts to each other and no one ever questions the fact that gypsy girls give birth on 12 or 13 - ages when having sex is criminal offense that requires investigation and arrests. No such things. Oddly enough, France didn't question the actions of Bulgarian politicians when the whole world heard about the 12 years old girl that got pregnant and gave birth without even knowing why and how she got pregnant! Not only this, but in the moment when someone tries to sue a Roma person, for something considered as tradition, all the human rights organisations will jump and say that's bad, that's discrimination against the minorities and so on. Yet, no one cares about those little girls that get to become women before they get in their puberty. No one cares! Gypsies are cheap votes, expensive cases against the often foreign government and of course, interesting news for the sympathetic European viewer. How nice. But when they are in your home country, you get very very angry and try to make them go away. Well, they are not going away, really. They will be back to France in no time. This problem cannot be solved like this. It requires politics, not force. You can't say you do it for the good of all the children in those camps - if you cared about their well-being, you'll send your social workers, you'll offer them a good life, a life that they cannot obtain in the ghettos back home! You'll offer them the chance to integrate, to be a decent European citizen, you won't send them home and make that problem someone else's problem. Bulgaria and Romania have so many immediate problems, it's hard to believe they'll just stop everything else and "integrate" all the gypsies. Why? Well, because they first have to integrate the majority of their population and then to try with the minorities. Because life right now is hard here. Small companies are going bankrupt, the government has no money to pay for almost anything, the situation goes worst and worst. I personally have no idea where all those money we had last year went, but this is not so important. The important thing is that all the Bulgarians have hard time right now, there are no money for anyone, it's very silly to believe that the least educated and willing to work will suddenly feel very happy here. Of course they will leave. They have nothing to make them stay here. Soon, there will be nothing to make any of us stay here.

So, obviously this expulsion stunt won't work, not in the long term anyway. The question is why France did that at all?
Especially if we remember how nationalist parties took so many votes in last European elections. Is it that hard to connect the dots? This could be the beginning of the end, is this what the EC wants? Is this why Barroso is so quite about this horrible act of discrimination? I sometimes wonder how stupid very smart people can actually be...I don't doubt the qualities of Barroso. But I doubt his dedication to Europe and his vision of the EU. I think that in the background of growing nationalism, it is very important to show sever response to such nationalist acts. It's not about the gypsies - they are not so much, they get money, they get free ticket home, they are fine. What they get is actually a free vacation for everyone. It's us who are not fine. Us who allow such acts, such attitude towards a minority. Do you notice how Western Europe doesn't have so many gypsies. Most of them are in Central and Eastern Europe. Do you ask yourself why? Well, I can tell you why, because of the Second World War. Because a lot of people went into those camps, and that weren't only Jews, contrary to the Hollywood versions. Bulgaria never sent those trains to the camps. And right now we're punished for saving lives? Right now the whole Europe abdicated from the obligation to try to make the life of those people better? True, they are Bulgarian and Romanian citizens. But also they are European citizens. And most of the strategies I hear of, those that our expensive MPs in the EP vote on and those that our Commissioners create, they require decreasing poverty in the Union. Well, what poverty do they intend to handle? Because those gypsies are not particularly rich, you know. It's so hypocritical to talk about reducing poverty and in the mean time to send home poor people who don't fit your landscape. Because they will continue to be poor here! And your 300 euro are not going to make them very rich and happy, even in poor Bulgaria. Not for more than few months.
So, dear European citizens, why don't you see where the problem is? The problem is that your problems are now our problem and vice versa. That's the idea of the EU - solidarity. Where's the solidarity in sending hundreds or thousands of gypsies home, without a court, without a verdict, just like that, because you don't want our poor people in your country. Thanks a lot, that's very nice of you. Next time you happen to want help, maybe your neighbors should tell you to go back to your country and stay there? This is never going to work!
What we can do is to show Europe and the world, that we think this is wrong and to find a better way to deal with the problem. Otherwise, we risk destabilizing our EU and losing it. Do you want to have to cross borders again? Do you want to have visas? To have to prove where you're going and WHY! Because that was the case in Bulgaria until 3 years ago. You may have forgotten, but I haven't. The EU is the best thing we have created, we have to keep it, we have to make it better. Otherwise, we're all going to suffer. And I think in that case, it's not that hard to do the right thing. France already showed us they can protest against their own government's stupidity. So can we! Let's show the world we don't simply put our problems in our dirty closets, but that we actively try and do solve them! This can be done. All it takes is a clear vision of what the European Union should be. The power is in our hands. Let's use it.
edit:

Regarding the Roma expulsions, Nabli says that they appear to contradict the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, which entered into force together with the Lisbon Treaty. He notes that the principle of non-discrimination protects the minorities' rights and prohibits collective expulsions.
Nabli argues that "freedom of movement has no price" and consequently criticises the 300 euros of "assistance for departure" that the French authorities offer Roma (plus 100 euros per child) for receiving  their signature on agreeing to leave French territory.
If the European Commission finds the French authorities to be infringing EU law, it could start an infringement procedure against France. Accordingly, the Commission would have to state France's faults and what measures should be taken to solve the problem. source

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ce post m'a beaucoup aide dans mon positionnement. Merci pour ces informations

 

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