Strasbourg, 17 July 2013 – On 14 July, Christian Estrosi, a UMP parliamentary representative for Alpes-Maritimes and Mayor of the City of Nice, made public racist statements targeting the Roma and Traveller community and threatened, among others, to install surveillance cameras in Roma and Traveller camps. A few days before, on 5 July, Jean-Marie Le Pen, former President of the National Front party had made similar "provocative" anti-Roma attacks.
The European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF) strongly condemns this stigmatising competition using hate speech to gain electoral support and demands from the French legal authorities to take action against Jean-Marie Le Pen and Christian Estrosi for their "provocative" anti-Roma attacks.
In an official letter, sent to the Public Prosecutor of Nice, Eric Bedos on 16 July 2013, Mr Rudko Kawczynski, President of ERTF complains at comments made by the two French politicians concerned as being as being xenophobic and they breach the Law on the Freedom of the Press of 29 July 1881.
“The European Roma and Travellers Forum President has today written to the Nice Public Prosecutor to express its opposition to these hurtful, insensitive and outrageous attacks from two of France’s most senior politicians. Their anti-Roma attacks do not bear repeating. We await with interest the response of Nice’s legal authority and hope that the justice will prevail. Public comments designed to whip-up further anti-Roma hysteria must receive thefull legal sanction they deserve.” said Robert Rustem, the ERFT's Head of Secretariat.