Some quick comments :
1)Your title is misrepresenting my statements. I didn’t claim that “roms are criminals” but that a particular kind of crime (and 'm including the exploitation of children for begging in my definition of crime) in a particular place is the province of a particular subset of the Rom population. The number of romanian street urchins (beggars, pickpockets, meter robbers…and even in some ases child prostitution) in Paris is estimated around 200-300.
- My statement isn’t anymore unnaceptable than stating for instance that the mafia in such or such place at such or such place was mostly in the hands of italian immigrants.
3)I was wrong. I searched around and though this petty crime is apparently still in the hands of Roms in cities like Lyons and Marseilles, it’s not the case anymore in Paris, where they’ve apparently been supplanted by non-gypsies coming from a specific area in north-western Romania. However, the romani slums I was refering to apparently still provides a number of beggars (as i already mentionned, these beggars are women and children. I wouldn’t know about men that I couldn’t tell apart anyway).
4)We’re talking about a peculiar kind of immigrants. Besides cultural factors that might prevent them from “settling down”, the can’t rely, contrarily to other kind of illegal immigrants, to an existing established community, to help them “upgrading” to a pleasant life including underpaid under the table jobs and sleeping with ten other guys in an overpriced 30 square meters “flat”.
Immigrants from central europe are a rather recent phenomenon, non-rom romanians generally speaking don’t wan’t to have anything to do with them, and I don’t think they receive much support from the french Roms (Roms used as a generic term, since french roms actually aren’t Roms strictly speaking), either. Finally, contrarily to usual illegal immigrants, they generally come in whole families rather than as individual adult males, which certainly doesn’t simplify the issue.
Also, when I’m refering to “slums”, I really mean slums. Third-world style. No water, no toilets, rats running around, etc… and the whole thing being wrecked down from time to time by the authorities.
5)I searched around for the official positions about these issues of tzigane organizations, and found out that their main association headquarters, study and documentation center was situated a couple street away from home. So, I might pay them a visit in the coming day to inquire.
6)Since your OP is more general than my comment about beggars in Paris, I would mention that the criminality rate amongst nomadic gypsies (only around 1/3 of the french gypsies still follow this lifestyle) is much higher than in the general population. read figures as high as 30 times higher. However, since there aren’t any official figures (french law prevent authorities from establishing ethnicity-based statistics), they’re as likely to come from serious sociological studies than to have been made out of thin air.
By the way, the french gypsy population is about half a million people, I believe. I don’t know if it includes illegal immigrants or only french citizens. I don’t know either who exactly is included. For instance, one of my friend is part gypsy but never had any connection with this community, except for his father who disapeared from his life in quick order. So, would someone like him be included in this figure, I don’t know. In any case, it can only be a rough estimate, since, as I mentionned above, no official statistics exist.
Also, it seems around half a million of them have been killed during the holocaust. I’ve no clue about the population figures at this time, but on the basis of the current ones, I would assume that a much smaller part of the Rom population than of the jewish population has been murdered during WWII.