Europe’s Most Resented Immigrants

The European Union was founded on principles of open borders and free circulation of labor. But Romania’s Roma, also known as Gypsies, are putting them to the test. As they flow into Western Europe in search of better lives than the ones they have in Soviet-era slums across Romania, the often poorly educated Roma are being met with nothing but hostility. Nowhere has it been worse than in France, where President Nicolas Sarkozy recently implemented a policy of dismantling their camps and sending them home. The European Commission is now threatening to take action against the French government, accusing it of illegal deportations. “There was a big argument—I could also say a scandal—between the president of the European Commission and the French president,” said the Bulgarian prime minister, who witnessed the dispute this week at a meeting of the European Union.