Hollande raps ministers over Roma row

French President Francois Hollande has called his bickering ministers to order, following a public row over France™s treatment of its Roma migrants.

Hollande ordered Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault to keep ministers on a tighter leash, government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said on Wednesday.

Vallaud-Belkacem added that during a Cabinet meeting Hollande had demanded an end to the Roma row and reminded lawmakers that they were required to observe “strict” rules on “solidarity, unity and responsibility.”

Hollande™s order follows a public dispute between Interior Minister Manuel Valls and Housing Minister Cecile Duflot over the country™s policies toward the Roma migrants.

Last week Valls said the majority of an estimated 20,000 Roma œshould be delivered back to the borders,” describing their way of life as œextremely different from ours,” and claiming they will never integrate into the French society.

Valls has not apologized for the Roma remarks but the minister has said he regretted “the tenor of the debate, the exploitation of his remarks and the attacks of which he was the object.”

Meanwhile, Hollande is suffering in opinion polls with the latest survey showing an approval rating of just 32 percent with only five months to municipal elections.

Analysts predict heavy losses for Hollande™s Socialists as the country is struggling to revive its economy and tackle rising unemployment.

President Francois Hollande vowed to reverse the growing trend of unemployment by the end of this year. However, the rate has instead risen to above three million in the second quarter of 2013.

France is one of a few rich economies with a double-digit unemployment rate, others being eurozone members Spain and Italy, along with South Africa.

In an attempt to lower the country™s huge debt load, the French government has increased taxes and implemented several reforms and spending cuts. However, the measures have proven unproductive since the financial crisis in the eurozone has not been resolved and the euro area is still bogged down in recession.


Copyright: Press TV