EDITORIAL "EL PAÍS"
Sarkozy after Berlusconi
Following information policy since the Romani Union are developing, we want to give transfer of EDITORIAL COMMENT that the Spanish newspaper "EL PAIS" has addressed the issue of Gypsy deportations Sarkozy.
Sarkozy tras Berlusconi
The expulsion of Roma places France in the trail of populism left by Italy
A leader so alert on gestures as Nicolas Sarkozy does not start the expulsion of Romanians with Roma’s origin, which was decided at the end of July, without calculating the consequences. And there is no doubt that, in his calculation, he has taken into account the benefits of the measure for his battered popularity above any other consideration, including the stated objective of fighting crime. Carried away by rising populism in Europe, some of whose arguments and initiatives are being used on the pretext of fighting against it, Sarkozy intends to show himself as the implacable executioner of the law, not so that the latter is respected, but only to draw everyone’s attention to him and his alleged political determination.
Sarkozy is not simply expelling several hundred Roma living in makeshift camps, but he is deporting Romanian European citizens whose ethnicity should be irrelevant, according to the principles that uphold the Union and the French Republic itself. By placing the ethnicity at the origin of the measure, Sarkozy and his government are in breach of the best French tradition -of which France should be proud of-, which France itself helped to extend through Europe and through the rest of the world.
Moreover, they are abrogating the presumption of innocence of a group of people who are not guilty of any crime just by residing illegally in France. Apart from stigmatizing the Roma and making them scapegoats for the insecurity, Sarkozy is committing a serious violation of the dignity and the honor of individual citizens, including children born and educated in France, who are being expelled as if they were criminals without any former court decision stating so. Or is that due to the fact that dignity and honor are acquired with the residency documents and depend on whether one lives in a camp or not?
Sarkozy’s measure bears a close resemblance to the one adopted in Italy by Silvio Berlusconi and may anticipate similar ones by other EU governments. Social exclusion of Roma is widespread in Europe, to the point that their status as citizens seems to be progressively pushed into the background. The French Government has assumed a heavy responsibility in this process, not lighter than the one assumed by the Italian government; a responsibility that consists of putting the rule of law, not at the service of equality and justice, but at the service of the leaders’ political needs at every moment.