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Euro MPs accuse France over Roma

The European Parliament has called on France to suspend its expulsion of Europe's Roma people.

The rare criticism of an EU state was backed by 337 MEPs meeting in Strasbourg, with 245 opposed and 51 abstentions.

France has stepped up its long-standing policy of rounding up Eastern European Gypsies, or Roma, and sending them home.

Officials have dismantled more than 100 illegal camps and expelled hundreds of Roma, mostly to Romania and Bulgaria.

The policy has drawn criticism from the UN and the Roman Catholic Church. Many at the EU Parliament accused Paris of targeting Roma as a group, ignoring essential European human rights guarantees.

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