THE ROMANI UNION PEOPLE ARE FILLED WITH DEEP SADNESS
(Translated from Spanish with a computer program)
The learned Castilian proverb says: "How little does the joy last in the house of the poor". That is what has happened to us. Three days ago we were very happy when we learned that the Commissioner for Justice of the European Commission, Mrs. Viviane Reding, wanted to propose to the President of the Commission to open proceedings before the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg because of the policy of mass deportations against Roma carried out by the French Government. For that reason, we commended the European Commission. We urged the Commissioner of Justice not to falter in its commitment and, at the same time, we demanded the President of the Commission, Mr Joao Barroso its support for the initiative of her Commissioner.
But we expected something bad to happen. Our satisfaction could not last long and our fear to stand before a mirage made us say that we: "ratified in our will, as a Gypsy Organisation to equally appear before the Luxembourg Court to exercise our right to defend our community so unfairly bashed”.
And our fear has been fulfilled. Reading the headlines on the covers of Spanish and European press has been like a stream of cold water that has fallen upon our suffering and persecuted backs. Even to our subconscious came the cries of racists of all colours that said: Viva Sarkozy! And they have reason to rejoice, because the reading that has been made of the statements of the Heads of State and Government at the Brussels summit was that Sarkozy had gotten away and that they support his politics against Gypsies -yes, against Gypsies- with respect to the position initially taken by the Commissioner of Justice.
What happened, therefore, demands the following clarifications from our organisation:
First: We are not aware how top leaders have entered the heart of the matter, that is to say, in the analysis of the behaviour of the French Government which according to the European Parliament's majority opinion, has violated French law, international agreements and the European Constitution. All his strength, which is immense, has been intended to protect the French president who felt his honour and the "grandeur" badly hurt by the words of Commissioner Reding.
Second: Everyone has heard that The Chair of the Commission Joao Barroso and Nicolás Sarkozy have had a very strong fight. Credible sources say they shouted each other. Barroso defended her Commissioner and Sarkozy saying that Mrs. Redding had offended all the French people. At this point little cared the pain of hundreds, possibly thousands, of children and elderly people deported without having done anything wrong to justify such a governmental violence. The French president knows very well how to handle the populist springs and the rest of the heads of the government; we do not know whether consciously or unconsciously they had fallen into the trap. The Romanians and Bulgarians Gypsies were permanently put aside. The important was to condemn the Commissioner and, at the same time, leave Sarkozy free to continue deporting Gypsies despite that the European Parliament ordered him to stop immediately the mass expulsions.
Third: At the Romani Union, before the President Sarkozy provoked this confrontation at the heart of the Summit, we said that the comparison made by Ms. Reding was exaggerated and not at all comparable to the deportations of Jews and Gypsies made by the French collaborationist government which sent to the Nazi gas chambers thousands of innocent people. So that, nobody will be able to accuse us of the demagogic populism that we did observe in the French leaders cheered by most of the governors that attended the Summit.
Fourth: We understand that the Heads of Government, reunited in conclave, have a special predisposition to understand each other. It is human and natural. But we do not share the statements of a European leader who has accepted the explanations of his French counterpart as if the statements of who is now accused, non other than by the European Parliament and the Commission, would be God's Word beyond doubt.
Fifth: We express our sorrow and disappointment because the European leaders at the summit did not have the courage to stop the French president. It would have been enough if only one would have accepted the resolution adopted by the European Parliament and the Commissioner’s will to investigate the circular issued by the Ministry of the Interior to the French police stations giving instructions to dismantle Roma camps. That is to say, giving a racist, unconstitutional, anti-European, inhuman and with clear Nazi connotations order. But unfortunately, that did not happen.
Sixth: But the gypsies, we do have faith in the people of goodwill from Europe, who are the majority. Citizens both from the left and the right, liberal or conservative that do not agree at all with the behaviour of the French Government, nothing to do with the French people, who now give Mr Sarkozy a 32% electoral expectations compared to the 53% that are given to his opposition.
Seventh: But we, drawing strength from which we do not longer have, we will get to the Court of Justice of the European Communities. And the judges, the 27 judges of the Court, will be the ones who will issue a statement that we do not doubt will be exemplary and convictional against the French Government and against those who want to seek to take justice into their own hands.
Juan de Dios Ramírez-Heredia
President of the Romani Union