Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Roma Evictions Accelerate

Scott Sayare in the Times:

French authorities sharply accelerated the eviction of migrant Roma squatters in 2013, razing the unauthorized encampments of nearly 20,000 Roma, according to a report by rights groups on Tuesday. The evictions were double those of 2012, according to the French Human Rights League and the European Roma Rights Center. President François Hollande took office in 2012 pledging to break with the strict policies of his predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy. But Mr. Hollande has reinforced those policies, demolishing at least 165 Roma camps last year, according to the report. French officials did not respond to requests for comment.
Interesting, since most estimates put the number of migrant Roma in France at 20,000. Has Valls evicted them all, or is he playing whack-a-mole, razing one camp, then razing the next camp to which the inhabitants have fled. No matter: no publicity is bad publicity, as the saying goes.


Mitch Guthman said...

If I have correctly understood what I've been reading, it is basically whack-a-mole with a uniquely French twist that seems to explain why the number of Roma in France remains constant. Apparently, when a camp is raided, those Roma who are born in France are evicted and their homes are destroyed. But because they are French citizens, they obviously can't be excluded from the country so they simply take what they can carry to another encampment.

Those Roma who are arguably not legally entitled to reside in France are given 300€ and are deported, usually to Romania, where they are treated abysmally---much, much worse than in France. Consequently, they use the money to finance their return to France where they are treated better and have better economic prospects. From what I've read, a family of four can end up slightly ahead of the game after paying for transportation back to France, depending, of course, on how much of their possessions their friends and relatives in France salvage and bring with them to the next encampment.

But that's my understanding of why the number of Roma and Roma encampments remains constant.

Also, since the deported Roma spend the money they are given by the French government t rather than saving it, I suppose the revolving door between France and Romania is probably the largest stimulus program bring operated by the Hollande government.

FrédéricLN said...

The huge majority of Roms living in France are Romanian (for a same small region of this country,, some Bulgarian or Hungarian (but certainly not many are French citizens).

All of them are, as Europeans (EU), legally entitled to come in France, and to stay beyond 3 months if they get an income. There were reservations on some jobs until 2013 ( ). But basically, France cannot deport them.

Our government practices two ways:

* either destroy an illegal camp, and people move from there to another camp;

* either pay them to take the coach back home (the famous 300 €). As Mitch Guthman puts it, that's enough money to pay the transportation back to France.