French cardinal protests as government continues to expel Gypsies
August 26, 2010
Cardinal André Vint-Trois of Paris spoke out in protest as the French government continued its campaign to expel illegal Roma (Gypsy) immigrants. As the government continued to raid Gypsy camps, and giving illegal residents a choice between leaving the country or facing formal deportation proceedings, the cardinal said that he planned to remind government officials that “there are certain lines that must not be crossed.”
Last week the Vatican protested the expulsions, noting that the government of Prime Minister Sarkozy was aimed at a particular ethnic group. At a public audience on Sunday, August 22, Pope Benedict XVI encouraged a group of French pilgrims to recognize the value of “legitimate diversity” in society.
The government has been unmoved by public criticism, and threats to lodge complaints of discrimination before the European Union. Interior minister Brice Hortefeux—with whom Cardinal Vingt-Trois said that he would discuss the problem—dismissed protests as “political blather.”
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