Politics Magazine

French Politics: A Mishandled Muddle

Posted on the 25 October 2013 by Stizzard
French politics: A mishandled muddle Leonarda calling her friends in France

EACH time it looks as if things cannot get much worse for François Hollande, they do. Having suffered a by-election humiliation at the hands of the far-right National Front, and seen one of his ministers eliminated from the race for the Socialist nominee to be mayor of Marseille, the president was this week facing perhaps the worst crisis of confidence in his leadership since he was elected 18 months ago.It all began with Leonarda Dibrani, a 15-year-old Roma from Kosovo. On October 9th she was stopped by the police while on a school trip and expelled along with her family, who had sought asylum in France. Families illegally resident in the country, who have exhausted their rights under the law, are often sent home without creating a fuss. But this case captured the imagination. It involved a Roma girl who, by attending school, seemed to be a model of the “integration” that Manuel Valls, the tough-talking interior minister, recently said provocatively was not what Roma sought. Worse, she was taken off a bus during a school outing.The outcry from Mr Hollande’s own camp was instant. Vincent Peillon,…

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