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We will also post relevant news worthy items and information on Human rights issues, racism, extremist individuals and groups and far right political parties from around the world although predominantly Britain.

Friday, 26 February 2010


The French state railway network has been accused of racism after asking passengers to report Romanians to security staff following a spate of thefts. A safety information notice posted in SNCF trains in southwest France warned of “problems with Romanians” and said that “numerous thefts of luggage have been noticed”. In terms reminiscent of the Italian Government’s onslaught against alleged Romanian criminals, the message told passengers to be “doubly vigilant” and added that “all acts by Romanians must be reported”. The signs were denounced by the writer Mouloud Akkouche, who at first thought that they were a bad joke by a local prankster. He said he was stunned to discover that they were the work of the SNCF’s passengers safety unit. The revelation brought a furious reaction from Romanians living in France. Roumanophilie, a Franco-Romanian internet site, said that French railways were “turning to anti-Romanian racism”. As the controversy threatened to sour relations between Paris and Bucharest, the SNCF issued an apology, blaming the “unfortunate expression” on an individual guard and saying that the signs had been taken down as soon as executives in Paris had been alerted. “This should not have happened,” a statement said. “An internal inquiry is under way to determine how it occurred.” A spokesman said that no one had rung the security hotline to report Romanians after reading the notice.
The sign relit a debate that has never gone away in France over the wisdom of allowing Romania to enter the European Union — seen as an error by a substantial slice of French public opinion. It also unleashed a wave of anti-Romanian sentiment on French websites, with one user, for instance, saying: “Everyone knows that they send children to steal from tourists and travellers. “Police catch them every day but must release them because they are minors.” French newspapers regularly report alleged criminal acts by Romanian gangs. They said last month that eight Romanian children aged between 12 and 17 had been arrested for allegedly stealing a total of €20,000 (£18,000) from people withdrawing money from cash dispensers in the Paris region. Last year the media noted the arrest of a Romanian gang suspected of stealing from supermarkets on the French Riviera. In 2008 a French sports journalist was reprimanded by the Higher Audiovisual Council for describing Romanians as “chicken thieves” during a football match between France and Romania. Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian Prime Minister, has been accused of stigmatising Romanians in Italy after blaming them for the country’s crime wave.
The Times Online