The European Union threatened France with legal action by how it handles the expulsion of Roma immigrants, with Commissioner of EU justice indicating that the behavior of that country was unacceptable and an embarrassment.
In an unusually blunt criticism from a government of the EU, Viviane Reding said that Paris failed to block the law provides for free movement of people to repatriate some 8,000 gypsies in Romania and Bulgaria this year, in an operation against crime Reuters said.
Reding said French officials were crafty with the European authorities, saying one thing in Brussels while the government made another home and said he should open a file on the country soon.
"My patience is running out. This is enough," Reding said at a briefing in Brussels, raising his voice and pounding the lectern as he spoke in frustration.
"No Member State can expect special treatment when it is a fundamental values and European laws," he said, adding that the Commission, the EU executive, discussed how to proceed as soon as possible.
Referring to the persecution of Gypsies in Nazi Germany during World War II, Reding said she feared for ethnic attacks and the return of the dark past in Europe.
"This is a situation that I believed that Europe would not have to witness again after the Second World War," he said.
"I will recommend to President (Jose Manuel Durao) Barroso to open the file (to France) in the fast lane," said Reding, he said DPA.
France has violated (until proven otherwise) European laws. The procedure will be based on the discriminatory application (for France) of the directive on free movement of persons and the non-implementation of the procedural guarantees provided for in the directive on free movement, "said the official Luxembourg.
France accelerated the expulsion of Roma immigrants in the summer, rounding up illegal encampments families and offering them financial incentives to leave the country as part of a program of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, to tighten security.
Advocacy groups for human rights, some government ministers Sarkozy and the Catholic Church have condemned the expulsions, saying they are part of Sarkozy's efforts to boost its flagging popularity while applying unpopular budget cuts.
Initially, the European Commission was reluctant to get involved in the matter, considering it as the responsibility of a Member State. But after pressure from the European Parliament and other groups, seems to have gone into action.
The French government on Tuesday defended its actions, saying they were legitimate and necessary in the light of increasing crime. The ruling Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), Sarkozy continued his defiant stance.
"The reality is that the French authorities have acted responsibly and with full respect for the law," said Jean-François Cope, a prominent politician of the UMP in Paris.
The French Foreign Ministry said he was "surprised" to learn of the announcement of the Commissioner of Justice and added that "it is with statements such as improving the situation of the Roma."
For Daniel Cohn-Bendit, president of the Greens, "is a golden opportunity to save the honor Durao Barroso of the Commission", as "better late than never", so that Brussels needed "go to action now," he said Efe.
For the European Network Against Racism (ENAR), the gala as "clearly contradicts the assurances given by members of the French Government" about not pursuing specific ethnic groups.