22nd August 2010

70 years ago Churchill made a famous speech '....never in the field of conflict was so much owed by so many to so few'. I was reminded of all that his speech entailed - particularly with the ensuing Holocaust - this week in the French news. Despite the fact that France is hailed around the world as a symbol of secular democracy, the country saw fit to expel a named group - the gypsies - from its shores. In an apparent, but mistaken, attempt to cool the growing furore over the matter, France's Interior Minister, Brice Hortefeux, is planning to meet his Romanian counterpart next week to discuss re-integrating the expelled gypsies back into Rumanian society.
As an expat myself, I understand that newcomers must abide by the laws of their new country. This includes each individual doing his or her best to speak the language, to integrate and to contribute financially via taxes (according to individual circumstances) to available facilities. It is certainly not right for individuals to expect to use land and facilities without paying any contribution towards the cost and upkeep. However, these laws must be assigned individually - not to whole groups. To expel a whole group smacks of xenophobia and racism. Above all, it means that the world has learned absolutely nothing from the horrific mistakes of the past.
Sarkozy: I thought better of you!

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