The "Roma issue" in the European Union has become more acute. Western Europe does not know what to do with the Roma who have legally immigrated from Romania and Bulgaria to the more prosperous countries. They have caused so much trouble to the population of a number of areas that the tolerant EU is thinking of deporting them. A proper destination has been found, and all Roma camps from the EU will be moved to Ukraine.
French President Francois Hollande called on ministers of his government to remain calm, as the latter got involved in a public fight on the topic of what to do with the immigrant Roma. Hollande said that the government had to maintain an atmosphere of solidarity and unity. A dispute arose between the Minister of Interior Manuel Valls and Cécile Duflot, the Minister of Housing who could not agree on the policy to be carried out in respect of Bulgarian and Romanian Roma who moved en masse to France. The French Interior Minister said that the Gypsies need to "go home" and integrate into the society there.
He expressed the opinion of a number of French who feel the same way. According to recent polls, approximately 75 percent of voters believe that the Roma deserve just that. However, immediately after these words the Minister was subject to criticism of the "most progressive part of the population." Human rights organizations, newspapers, artists and European diplomats condemned the Minister's words. Valls did not avoid criticism by his colleagues in the government and the party.
He was blamed of the revival of the right-wing rhetoric that played on fear of foreigners, and of undermining the basic values on the French society. At the moment about 20,000 Roma from Bulgaria and Romania reside in France. They mostly live in makeshift camps on the outskirts of French cities, thus bringing trouble to the police and local residents. There are over four hundred of such settlements in France.
Since May of 2012 the French have expelled 15 to 20 thousand Roma. However, the French authorities have limited possibilities of legal deportation of Roma to their home countries because they obtained all the rights of citizens of the European Union after the accession of Romania and Bulgaria to the European Union. When the police dismantle illegal Roma camps, they move to the city streets or put a tent elsewhere. International human rights organization Amnesty International in a new report severely criticized the French policy of deporting the Gypsy migrants.
Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Justice, mentioned to the French authorities that the European norms of free circulation of citizens were in effect in the country, and that Roma were also entitled to them. She said that Roma were people who could only be deported in the event that they violate the law.
The controversy surrounding Roma in France has its grounds. Like other members of the EU, France allocates money to the EU budget to help with the settlement and employment of Roma in their home countries Romania and Bulgaria.
As practice shows, these measures have not been effective, and the Bulgarian and Romanian Roma still leave their countries and go in search of a better life in the more developed EU countries. The French authorities proved to be powerless in the issue of integration of Roma.
Over the past two years, the EU-funded program for social integration of the Roma did not yield significant results. The problem is nearly the same across Europe. At least ten percent of Roma children of age 7-15 do not attend school, and half of them skip classes. Many Gypsies are unemployed. France, Germany, Great Britain, and Czech Republic simply do not know what to do with the influx of Gypsies. Most of them do not want to learn, they do not work anywhere, and often commit crimes (theft, robbery) and engage in conflicts with the local residents and the police. They live in camps, bathe in the nearby fountains and use the same water for cooking.
The Europeans do not understand this way of life, and many are negative towards Roma. In many EU countries a negative image of Roma as people "unfit" for social life is often created by the media. First of all we are talking about large families who enjoy social support benefits but do not think to look for work. Only Spain has managed to achieve full integration of Roma into society. About 75 percent of them in Spain have a steady income, half own property and without exception all have access to health care and education.
Only five percent of Spanish Roma do not have permanent housing. These are the long-term benefits of the policies carried out in Spain after the fall of Francisco Franco's regime. Roma in Spain account for two percent of the country's population (nearly a million people). A government program partly funded by the EU (36 million euros annually) was created for them. This money is used to support education, and Roma families have access to government social assistance and social housing only if their children attend school and undergo medical examinations.
While other countries do not know what to do with Roma and how to solve the Roma "issue," there is a country willing to host all disadvantaged Roma from the European Union. This country, surprisingly, is Ukraine. The Ukrainian authorities in the process of European integration have decided to welcome Gypsies from the EU. A respective decree was signed by President Viktor Yanukovych.
The document was published on the official website of the President. In this decree Yanukovych speaks not of numerous "Ukrainian" Gypsies who already reside in Ukraine, but thousands of "Roma minorities" now living in the EU. Roma are deported from France, being driven from Romania, expelled from Finland. Hungary, where Roma make up 10 percent of the population is on the verge of a social explosion.
Even the peaceful Czech Republic and Slovakia demand from the EU authorities to finally solve the "Roma issue." And only Ukraine that really wants to get into the European Union on the explicit request of Brussels has developed a "strategy for the integration of Roma into the Ukrainian society" to save their "unique identity and culture." Even excessively politically correct and tolerant Europe got so fed up that it took up the deportation of the representatives of a particular nation. The EU is tolerant towards Africans and Arabs, but wants to deport the disadvantaged Roma. Perhaps this has to do with the fact that the "unique original culture" of Gypsies means not only dancing with tambourines and singing guitar songs, but also a high propensity for crime.
The examples are numerous. In Yekaterinburg, Gypsies have shown themselves as great drug traffickers and drug lords. Now the carriers of this magnificent "identity" will move to Ukraine, where they were promised support. There are significant doubts that the people of Ukraine will be pleased by the invasion of tens and even hundreds of thousands of "unique Gypsies."
Most of all, the local authorities will not be able to clearly explain to the Ukrainians why the country needs hundreds of thousands of potential criminals and loafers. It is hard to believe that Roma will bring great benefit to the economy of Ukraine. With these actions Ukrainian officials simply want to do a favor to the EU in order to get the notorious "accession to the EU on the Rights of the Association" and annoy Russia. It is unlikely that the Roma expelled from Europe will settle in Galicia or near Kiev, more likely in the Russian-speaking Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Odessa and Donetsk to once again annoy the damn Russians.