Audio, Editorial

Roma ‘hate’ speech of Cholet mayor Gilles Bourdouleix


FRENCH investigators have opened a criminal probe into a politician who was allegedly recorded saying that Hitler “did not kill enough” Roma.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls had earlier called for Gilles Bourdouleix, controversial mayor of the western town of Cholet, to be “severely punished” for the comments.

Mr Bourdouleix reportedly muttered the remark on Sunday as he confronted members of the travelling community, also known as gypsies, who had illegally set up camp, according to a recording posted on the site of regional daily Courrier de l’Ouest.

“Maybe Hitler did not kill enough,” Mr Bourdouleix is heard saying after the Roma had reportedly given him the Nazi salute.

Mr Bourdouleix, who is a member of the lower house National Assembly with the centrist UDI party, is also facing expulsion from his party.

Local prosecutor Yves Gambert said his office had opened a preliminary investigation into the remarks on Monday, on charges of “defending crimes against humanity”.

“I believed that this justified the opening of an investigation,” he said.

Mr Bourdouleix faces up to five years in prison and a 45,000-euro ($60,000) fine if convicted on the charge.

Prosecutors have also ordered that the recording of the remark be analysed to see if it was altered.

Mr Bourdouleix has said his comments were taken out of context and alleged the recording was tampered with.

The comments sparked an uproar, with Mr Valls describing them as “unacceptable”.

“These comments are a defence of crimes committed in the Second World War, a defence of Nazism and coming from a mayor, from a member of parliament, it’s completely intolerable,” he said on TV channel i-TELE.

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said Mr Bourdouleix’s comments were “not worthy of an elected representative” and were “punishable by law”.

Mr Bourdouleix also risks being kicked out of his party.

“I hope Mr Bourdouleix’s political party will take on its responsibilities, because this is unacceptable behaviour and not the first time for this man,” Mr Ayrault said.

Mr Bourdouleix has made controversial remarks about Roma in the past, including in November 2010, when he threatened to drive a truck through one of their caravan camps, and last November, when he said France was facing a “new invasion” from the community.

The European Association for the Defence of Human Rights says almost 12,000 Roma were evicted from camps across France last year, 80 per cent of them forcibly.

A French law stipulates that every town of more than 5,000 inhabitants must set up sites able to house members of the travelling community — be they Roma, circus performers or fun fair organisers.

In Cholet, authorities say the site devoted to travellers was temporarily closed due to works, adding the Roma had moved on since Sunday’s incident.



Mayors and residents of France drives away nomadic caravans installed illegally without waiting for the court decisions.

Last week at Guérande, a small town in France, near Nantes, the mayor deputy, Mr Christophe Priou has threatened to resign in order to protest to the illegal installation of 150 families on a football field.

In May, “about 50 people” in Montévrain, located two kilometers from Disneyland, near Paris, responded to a call on Facebook of mayor Robache Christian in front of what he described as a “savage invasion”.

The mayor of this village of 8,700 inhabitants tried to prevent the installation of 150 evangelical Gypsy caravans in the municipal park.!UAhl2Pg4vH7Bg/

Editorial, Video

Where the streets have no name…


The municipality of Iasi, a North East town of Romania, wants to demolish the tower of flats where few people lived there in pure misery. Most apartments have no doors and no windows, and residents are without running water, the sanitation being defective.

According to representatives of the City Hall of Iasi, the block is in an advanced state of decay.

Evacuation of residents began late last week, and the City Hall has ordered those standing there illegally to leave the apartments.

The evacuated residents said that they have no other place to live and the Iasi City Hall offered them no alternative.

“I have four kids, what do I do now? I went to the town hall several times to ask them for a shelter, but no one helped,” the said Mary N., one of the evacuated family.

Please watch the video here.


Over half a million Roma living in Romania


Romania’s National Institute of Statistics INS added one million Romanians to the number released as preliminary data after the 2011 census, which brings the total number of Romanians to 20.1 million. 

Demographic data show children up to 14 year old make almost 16 percent of the population, young people 15 to 24 cover 12.3 percent, while the biggest group is made of 25 to 64 year olds – 55.7 percent. Those over 65 make 16.1 percent of Romania’s population, and people above 85 are 1.3 percent of the country’s population.

When it comes to ethnicity, 88.9 percent of those who declared their ethnicity – or 16.7 million people said they are Romanians, while 6.5 percent – or 1.2 million said they were Hungarians. Only 3.3 percent – or 621,000 said they were of Rroma ethnicity, which shows a growth from 2.5 percent in 2002. On the religion front, 18,8 million people chose to declare their faith, and 88.5 of them said they were orthodox, while 4.6 percent were Catholic, 2% percent declared a reformed religion and 1.9 percent, Pentecostal.

Around half of the resident population for whom the marital status was available said they were married, 4.8 million women, and 4.8 million men, while two out of five people were never married. The divorced people hold a weight of 4.2 percent, while 745,000 people said they are living in consensual union.

Out of the total usual resident population aged 10 years and over, 44.2 percent have a low educational level (primary, lower secondary or no graduated school), 41.4 percent, a medium level (post-high school,high school, vocational or foremen education) and 14.4 percent an upper level – university. In October 2011, there were 245,000 illiterate people in Romania, according to census data.

The number of people who left abroad for a period of at least one year, but do not belong to usualresident population, is 727,000 and, “obviously, comprises only a part of external migrants number,” according to the INS.

“The significant under-registration was determined by the fact that, at the critical moment of the census, a large share of these persons were left abroad with their entire families and no one was in the country able to declare the information required for them,” according to the INS.