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Bulgarian FM Defends French Expulsion Of Roma

Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolai Mladenov

Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolai Mladenov

The foreign minister of Bulgaria has defended the move by France to expel its Roma migrants and repatriate them to Bulgaria and Romania.

Speaking ahead of a Roma protest outside the French Embassy in Sofia, Nikolai Mladenov said the government in Paris had "legal justification" for its action and that the right of freedom of movement does not guarantee the right to settle in a particular country.

Roma make up just under one-tenth of Bulgaria's population of 7.5 million.

France has come under criticism throughout Europe for its move to dismantle Roma camps and repatriate illegal Roma migrants.

A new poll in France indicates that nearly three-quarters of the French believe their country's image abroad has been damaged by the controversy.

compiled from agency reports