MEPs accuse France over Gypsy expulsions

The European Parliament has called on France to suspend its expulsion of Roma.

The rare criticism of an EU state was backed by 337 MEPs meeting in Strasbourg, with 245 opposed and 51 abstentions.

France has stepped up its long-standing policy of rounding up Eastern European Gypsies, or Roma, and sending them home.

Officials have dismantled more than 100 illegal camps and expelled hundreds of Roma, mostly to Romania and Bulgaria.

The policy has also drawn criticism from the UN and the Catholic Church. Many at the EU parliament accused Paris of targeting Roma as a group, ignoring essential European human rights guarantees.

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