Wednesday, February 18, 2009


ROMA VIRTUAL NETWORK On-Line Bulletin 18/02/2009

Hungary, Italy and a Broader Europe Bring Roma Struggles to the Fore 15/02/2009 -

A wave of violence, EU expansion and a surge of targeted legislation have cast a spotlight on Europe’s largest minority, sparking worries that an era of persecution and prejudice could return once again, or may have never left. Much of the recent attention has focused on the Roma population in Italy, which has come to symbolize a threat to the country’s well-being in the eyes of the newly elected Berlusconi government. However, debate surrounding crime rates and poverty in Hungary has brought the plight of the Roma people to fore once again.

Faced with a faltering economy, Hungarian authorities have seen a spike in blame for the country's ills on the minority Roma population, evidenced by the comments of a police chief who remarked that all burglary and theft in the town of Miskolc could be traced back to Roma criminals. Read more on Essex parish prepares to take in evicted Traveller families

LONDON, 16/02/2009 - A parish in Essex is preparing to accommodate dozens of Traveller women, children and babies in its church hall, after the local council was given permission to evict them from their camp. Families will be given just 45 minutes notice to leave, before the bailiffs arrive.
An Appeal Court ruling on 22 January opened the way for Basildon Council to demolish homes at Dale Farm, in a £1.9million operation. With more than 350 residents, Dale Farm is the largest Travellers site in Europe.

The families bought the derelict green belt land about ten years ago. They pay council taxes and have built semi-permanent homes there. The children are settled in local schools. But they did not have planning permission from Basildon Council. Each time they applied, their applications were refused.


Rome to dismantle illegal camps 16/02/2009

The authorities in Rome have begun dismantling illegal camps amid an outcry over three rapes last weekend that have been blamed on immigrants. Mayor Gianni Alemanno supervised the demolition of about 30 camps, home to many Roma, or Gypsies, from Romania. A 14-year-old girl was raped in a park in the capital on Saturday, allegedly by two men from Eastern Europe.


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