top cx logo
cx logo
Explorearrow down
search icon

Hollande attacked for Leonarda offer

Right-wing accuses him of fudging decision and harming France’s authority as he says expelled girl can return – alone

PRESIDENT Hollande has been attacked by both Left and Right over the expulsion of Kosovan teenager Leonarda Dibrani and his lack of leadership, over his offer for her to return to France to continue her schooling.

During a TV appearance, Mr Hollande spoke of the family’s expulsion and said it had been done in accordance with the law. He added that Leonarda, 15, could return, but only if she did so alone.

Leonarda later rejected his offer saying: “I will not go to France; I will not abandon my family.”

Although supported by Interior Minister Manuel Valls for his “generosity”, Mr Hollande was attacked by former prime minister François Fillon for fudging a decision and by UMP Jean-François Copé for “delivering a blow to the government’s authority” for a decision that “mocks the French and the law”.

While Parti Socialiste general secretary Harlem Désir also noted Hollande’s generosity he promptly called for Leonarda’s family also to be allowed back, but not her father.

The Communist Party attacked Mr Hollande for making Leonarda choose between France and her family.

A poll by Le Parisien found that 65% of people did not want the family to return.

An inquiry into the expulsion had said that while it was done in accordance with the law, and with the aim of reuniting Leonarda with her family, the police who had picked her up while on a school outing had not thought of the effects of their actions. Mr Valls has now issued instructions that no such similar attempt should be made again.

The report also said that Leonarda’s father, who was sent back to Kosovo the day before the rest of the family, had been arrested on various occasions and did “not want to work” in France. Leonarda and her siblings were also said to have skipped school on numerous occasions.

The family are now living in Mitrovica in Kosova where they were reported to have been assaulted in the street.

Previous article:
Socialist fury at Roma expulsion
Screengrab iTele

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
featured helpguide
Income Tax in France 2023 (for 2022 income)*
Featured Help Guide
- Primarily aimed at Britons, covers pensions, rent, ISAs, shares, savings and interest - but also contains significant general information pertinent to readers of other nationalities - Overview of online declarations + step-by-step guide to the French printed forms - Includes updates given automatically after this year's site opened
Get news, views and information from France