Romanian Asylum-Seekers Expelled From Germany Arrive In Homeland With AM-Germany-Refugees
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) _ More than 100 Romanians, most of them Gypsies, arrived late Monday in the first large scale deportation of asylum-seekers from Germany since a repatriation agreement took effect last month.
The 113 passengers of the Romanian Tarom airline’s flight from Berlin left the airport peacefully. Many vowed to go back to Germany at the first opportunity.
Some 40,000 Romanian Gypsies are to be returned as a result of a treaty with Germany that went into effect Nov. 1. Romania agreed to take back citizens denied asylum by Germany or who are there without identity papers.
Germany’s governing and opposition political parties have agreed to seek tough asylum laws that would turn refugees back at the border.
Romanians have made up the largest proportion of Germany’s growing number of asylum-seekers, who have been targeted by neo-fascist violence.
The expulsion of Gypsies, who represent more than half of the Romanians in Germany, has been criticized for harking back to the Nazi era when Gypsies ranked next to Jews as candidates for persecution. About a half-million Gypsies were killed.
Gypsies at Baneasa airport said police rounded them up from refugee shelters in central Germany. Their applications for asylum had been refused.
″They took me by surprise, yelled at me in that language of theirs and here I am″ said Iancu Zamfir, 21. ″Now I have to figure out how to get back there again.″
Gypsy leaders here reacted strongly to Monday’s deportation. Ion Onoriu said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press that Gypsies ″need a house of their own, land and a job, otherwise they might leave to other countries.″
Germany regards post-Communist Romania as a country where political persecution does not exist, but Gypsies here have been frequently the victims of racist attacks.