LYON, France – LYON, France (AP) — French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux says that more than 40 illegal Gypsy camps have been dismantled around the country in the last two weeks.
Thursday's announcement by Hortefeux at a news conference in Lyon, in southeastern France, coincided with the expulsion of Gypsies from a camp outside Paris. BFM-TV station showed Gypsies, or Roma, in distress as their camp in Choisy-le-Roi was evacuated.
Last month, President Nicolas Sarkozy ordered a crackdown on illegal camps, calling them a source of trafficking and prostitution. He says there's no intention to stigmatize a community, as Roma groups and others contend.