Liberals ask for EU parliament debate on Roma expulsions
The European Union must take a firm stand against recent measures targeting ethnic Romas, the European Parliament's liberal-democratic grouping ALDE said Tuesday, DPA reported.
ALDE's leader, former Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhosfstadt, took aim not only at France's much-criticized expulsion of irregular Romas, but also stigmatized the sending of German-born Roma kids to Kosovo and "xenophobe" comments from Italy's centre-right government.
He said these developments "ridiculed" the EU's values and must be debated by parliament in its next plenary session, which runs from September 6-9 in Strasbourg, France.
"The Parliament must remind Europe of our principles and the (European) Commission must assure that the rights of minorities are respected", Verhofstadt said.
The EU assembly's political leaders are set to decide on ALDE's proposal for a debate at a meeting next week, with the request likely to win backing from the Socialist and Democrats grouping and two other centre-left factions, a parliamentary source said.