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by Euro Reporter
2010-08-25 07:24:00
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Sarkozy under fire from within his own ranks on Roma policy

The French government’s first ministers meeting after the summer recess will be held on Wednesday, marking the beginning of what could be President Nicolas Sarkozy’s most challenging periods since he took political office. Last week the French government began deporting hundreds of Roma and Gypsies to Bulgaria and Romania, offering them 300 euros as an incentive to leave on a voluntary basis.

This expulsion strategy followed two controversial policy proposals. One is to strip French citizens of foreign-birth of their nationality in some criminal cases; the second, to imprison the parents of juvenile offenders.

On Tuesday, former prime minister Dominique de Villepin told French radio RTL that most of the government’s appointed ministers were “unhappy and uncomfortable” with Nicolas Sarkozy’s national security strategy. After opposition parties and human rights groups condemned this security drive, the international press, the European Commission, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD), the UN and the hierarchy of the Catholic Church have joined the chorus criticising the policies.

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Former PM calls security crackdown ‘stain of shame’ on French flag


French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s recent tough talk on immigration, seen by some political analysts as a strategy to boost flagging poll numbers, has now earned him sharp rebukes from across the political spectrum.

Following criticism from the Vatican and the UN, a trio of heavyweight French politicians weighed in on the matter with editorials in top French daily Le Monde. Perhaps the fiercest response came from former Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, who recently squared off against Sarkozy in the closely followed Clearstream trial, and is seen as a possible challenger in the 2012 presidential race (de Villepin launched his own centre-right party earlier this summer).

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Notorious anti-corruption campaigner eyes French presidency


She is the bane of corrupt businessmen and politicians, and received death threats while working as an investigating judge in France. Now Norwegian-born Eva Jolie has turned her hand to politics - and looks set to stand as a presidential candidate for the French Green Party (Europe Ecologie) in the 2012 elections.
 
“If the party chooses me, then so be it,” said the 66-year-old MEP, who has been in politics for barely two years. Some in the party, including senior members, initially doubted her aptitude for leadership. Most have come round.
 
French senator and Green Party member Dominique Voynet told France’s left-leaning Le Monde newspaper that Joly had taken to politics like a duck to water. “She’s a quick learner,” she said. “She absorbs everything and she has taken the green movement as her new identity.”


       
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