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France won't stop Roma deportations

Sept. 10, 2010 at 10:07 AM

PARIS, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- France will still deport Roma despite the European Union's call for deportations to stop, French Immigration Minister Eric Besson said.

Besson, speaking during a trip to Romania, said France would work to help Roma integration within Romania, the BBC reported Friday.

"I want to say very clearly that there is no question of France suspending returns to countries of origin, whether they are Romanians, Bulgarians or any other nationality," Besson said.

Since Romania and Bulgaria joined the European Union in 2007 many Roma -- often called gypsies -- went to France to seek a better life, the British broadcaster said.

Romania will develop integration plans and send extra police to Paris to help curb crime committed by Romanians, officials said.

France promised money to help Roma return to Romania and has deported about 1,000 of them in recent weeks.

Romanian Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi and Besson, speaking in Bucharest, said their countries would work jointly to get more funding from the EU for measures that would improve living conditions for Roma in their countries of origin.

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