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France deports 283 gypsies

- A group of 283 Romanian gypsies arrived yesterday in Bucharest, the Romanian capital on two flights from Paris and Lyon. France plans to send hundreds of members of this community living illegally in the country, government officials informed.

According to the newspaper Evenimentul Zilei, some of the deportees upon arrival complained of being forced to leave France.

“If we didn’t want to leave, we got deported,” said one of the gypsies, who said he will return to France as soon as possible. Last week the first 200 returnees arrived in Romania.

France is scheduled to complete the deportation of a thousand gypsies in the coming weeks, both Bulgarians and Romanians, who live in illegal camps. The first mid-morning flight out of Lyon with 125 people and the second, from Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, with 158, according to French Immigration Minister Eric Besson.

The French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, insisted yesterday that the French policy of sending gypsies to their original countries with 300 euros per adult and 100 for each child has “been done in full compliance with European law.” With yesterday’s expulsion, Paris has returned a total of 8,313 gypsies to their original country, mainly Romania and Bulgaria.