Roma 'prohibited' by drivers from travelling on Paris buses

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The French citizens’ rights watchdog, the Défenseur des droits, is investigating a complaint that a bus driver with the Paris public transport system, the RATP, refused to let three young Roma men with valid travel passes climb aboard his vehicle, allegedly saying ‘dirty Romanians, you’re like dogs’. Witnesses have come forward to confirm the incident which, as Carine Fouteau reports, is just one of a series involving allegedly discriminatory behaviour against Roma by RATP staff, and which drivers' union officials say they “cannot deny” happen.


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Several months ago, Cosmin, a 23 year-old Romanian national, signed up to France’s ‘civic service’ scheme, under which French and EU nationals aged between 16 and 25 carry out missions that serve the public interest. At the time, he lived in a hut in a makeshift camp of fellow Roma gypsies situated in Champs-sur-Marne, in the south-west outer suburbs of Paris.