Right-wing mayor slammed after suggesting Roma people should be left to burn

By Hélène Constanty

Mediapart has obtained the recording of a public meeting in which a mayor from the right-wing UMP main opposition party is heard suggesting that Roma people should be allowed to burn in fires that break out at their camps. Luc Jousse, from Roquebrune-sur-Argens in the South of France, talks on the tape about a spate of fires at a Roma settlement in his town. 'It's almost a shame that the emergency services were called so early!' he says, to laughter. The comments were quickly condemned as 'unacceptable' by the UMP's own leadership. Jousse, who has now been suspended by his local party, said he regretted the remarks but insisted he was simply relaying the comments of a local resident. Hélène Constanty reports.

Reading articles is for subscribers only. Subscribe now.

A right-wing mayor in the south of France has caused a storm of protests after apparently suggesting that Roma people whose camps are on fire should be left to burn. In a recording obtained by Mediapart, Luc Jousse, the mayor of Roquebrune-sur-Argens near Saint-Tropez who is a member of the main opposition UMP party, is heard saying at a public meeting that the fire brigade had been called nine times to tackle fires at a local Roma camp.