Saturday, November 27, 2010



The City of Helsinki is repatriating scores of Roma camping at the city's fish harbour to their homes in eastern Europe. They will be given ferry tickets and a lump cash sum.

On Friday, some 40 Roma will each receive 300 euros for fuel as well as 25 euros to cover the cost of the ferry trip.

Jarmo Räihä, a senior official with the city's social services department, said the cold weather has created life threatening risks for the group. He added that the exit was negotiated with members of the local Roma community.

Räihä said the only way to help eastern Europe’s Roma was for them to receive concrete aid in their countries of origin. He headed a delegation from the City of Helsinki on a recent visit to Romania and Bulgaria. The group also included representatives from the Helsinki Police.

“We visited a Roma village, met with local officials as well as with Roma and state officials. Their problems can only be solved at home where their culture and families are,” Räihä says.

It was critical to see how work and education can be provided as well as improvements to living conditions, he noted.

Räihä admitted that the Roma--and the related panhandling problem--will reappear in the future. He hoped that changes in the countries of origin would address the problem.



Bryce Phillips Horvath said...

The same kinds of things are said about Mexican immigrants to the US. It seems that people either don't know or don't want to recognize that world problems are interconnected and much of the suffering of the East is because they are being colonized by the West. I think that just like with the Mexican immigrants businesses do actually like both Roma and non Roma coming from Eastern Europe Africa and other places to do work for low wages, just discriminate and make it hard for immigrants to settle down to keep them from gettng more rights and better pay. And much of the poverty and racism and disease and war Eastern Europe is plagued with is because they are now following the West's model. I have always been a socialist at heart so that is how I see it.

Casimire said...

Well put Brice, but situation in Europe is simple. Roma are an easy target. Brutal Genocide in Europe and on this hemisphere has been going on since the Inquisition. Vast majority of people come here from Mexico and work their dammed butts off. They buy consumer goods just like everyone else. I'm sure displaced Roma (in Europe) would do the same if given half a chance. Most of us just want to work and buy bacon and beans. Know wot' I mean?