The French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s crack down on hundreds of Gypsies has invited the wrath of many, with the Romanian Gypsy leader even comparing French President Nicolas Sarkozy to Romania’s pro-Nazi wartime leader. The expulsions have been criticized by many including the Roman Catholic Church and the United Nations that has resulted in a sharp plunge in the French President’s reputation. Even some members of Sarkozy’s government and political party have expressed grave concerns about the eviction policies. The eviction of Gypsies has come at a time when a series of financial scandals has hit his government and ruling party and Sarkozy is struggling to safeguard his reputation in the opinion polls.
France has sent back about 1,000 Gypsies to Romania and Bulgaria in recent weeks as part of its crime fighting measures as Sarkozy has linked Gypsies, commonly called as Roma to crime,exploitation of children and prostitution. There are over 10 million and 12 million Gypsies in the EU, most of them unemployed and living in poverty. Around 1.5 million of Gypsies live in Romania, which has the largest population of Gypsies in Europe.
Being members of the European Union,both France and Romania are bound by its rules whcih enable its citizens to travel freely within the union. However the governments can send citizens of other EU countries home if they can’t find work or support themselves. Undaunted by the Gypsy eviction issue, Sarkozy is pressing ahead with his plans to strip French nationality from certain categories of foreign-born criminals. Though many feel that it is part of unconstitutional populist measures, Sarkozy is moving ahead with these plans, which might get him a few more votes from a section of voters, who are in favor of these measures. Sarkozy perhaps need to do something to clear off the financial mess, his party is in before setting out on the eviction of these homeless Gypsies,which could well only be a publicity stunt to gain his lost ground.