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Geopolitics

France’s Immigration Chief Revisits The Roma Expulsion Issue, In Romania

The head of the French Immigration service recently concluded a visit to Bucharest, where he made a first-hand inspection of Ferentari, the city’s principal Roma neighborhood. France’s goal this year is to send up to 30,000 Roma back to their countries of

Roma in Paris.
Roma in Paris.
Mirel Bran

BUCHAREST -- As soon as he arrived in the French embassy in Bucharest, Arno Klarsfeld asked for a glass of water and ibuprofen. After a three-hour flight and a visit to Ferentari, the Roma community in the Romanian capital, the new director of the French immigration service looked exhausted.

He didn't mice words in talking about his visit to the Roma, which suffer severe discrimination in Romania and often come to France in search of a better life. "I saw families with eight children who lived in one room. That isn't good," he said. "You shouldn't have eight children if you only have one room. Then, the mafia leaders come and say, ‘you're going to give me two kids to go beg or prostitute themselves." France is going to be tough. Legislative measures to end all of this will be reinforced."

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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