- Title: FRANCE: Choisy-le-Roi's Mayor Daniel Davisse sets up dedicated camp for Roma
- Date: 18th September 2010
- Summary: ROMA WOMAN WITH BABY IN CAMP
- Embargoed: 3rd October 2010 13:00
- Location: France
- Country: France
- Topics: International Relations,Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA4P6QIR0TP28NYENOMKHQE5A5H
- Story Text: Seventeen Roma families were provided shelter by humanitarian associations and with the help of the city hall of the Parisian suburb of Choisy-le-Roi on Thursday (September 16).
They had been expelled from an illegal camp settled under a highway near Paris on August 12 and since then have sought shelter in a gymnasium belonging to the city of Choisy-le-Roi.
The communist mayor of the town found a solution to free the gymnasium and re-house the Roma population along with several humanitarian associations.
They presented to the media on Thursday a new legal camp with caravans for each family.
Daniel Davisse, Choisy-le-Roi's mayor, is strongly opposed to French President Nicolas Sarkozy's policies regarding Roma immigrants.
"They are moved on an ethnic basis, which is unacceptable. Why am I not comparing this to [World War Two] deportations? Because I am a child of camp survivors and it was different. But in any case, this approach is not a good one. Confrontation with people -- racism, this is not a fair way to try to resolve vote-gaining issues."
These families, natives from Romania, have been settled on French territory for almost 10 years. Poor conditions in their own countries led them to France, where they search for a better life.
"I would like to stay here because I'm from Romania. Romania is poor, there's nothing to eat there. Here it's easier to eat and for everything," said Dana, as she was settling into her new caravan.
The European parliament passed a resolution on September 9 accusing France of breaching European Union (EU) rules on discrimination and the free movement of people.
"Romas are really rejected among rejected people. Today, in a society like ours, this population really is finger-pointed, with a bad reputation and everything. As long as this population suffers from such exclusion and from such a reputation, we are by their side," said Christophe Deltombe, chairman of Emmaus, a human rights association.
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