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June 1, 2020
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Poverty forces Roma to leave Bulgaria and Romania

Bucharest, 21.8.2010 23:30, (AFP)

Europe's Roma communities, at the centre of an immigration row in France, are often driven out by poverty from their homes in Romania and Bulgaria, the European Union's two most impoverished members.

"Here we are like vagabonds. We don't have work, we have nothing," said Gheorghe Ion, one of the Roma repatriated to Bucharest by France as part of a government crackdown on illegal Gypsy camps that some have labelled racist and xenophobic.

Another Romanian Roma, or Gypsy, who left the French city of Grenoble with his family told AFP: "We will stay home if we find work but it's difficult because this country (Romania) is poorer" than France.

Romania has been hit with one of the worst recessions in the 27-nation EU bloc since 2009.

The economy is expected to contract again this year and the government has to take drastic austerity measures, including cutting public sector salaries by 25 percent, to meet IMF conditions for a loan.

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By Isabelle Wesselingh
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EU, Monitoring



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