PHOTO : PRESSTV.IR
Georgiev, a gypsy himself, says he's sick and tired of politicians who intentionally keep Roma in ghettos to absorb EU funds, use money for other purposes, and eventually blame failed integration on Roma's alleged laziness and criminal behavior.
To set an example, he's established a foundation in this Roma neighborhood in Sofia, and is now hosting a Roma summer school.
This teacher tells us that if everyone leaves prejudice aside, they will see there's absolutely no difference between Bulgarian and Roma kids. Moreover, while Bulgarian kids are enjoying a long summer break, this Roma girl tells us she prefers the classroom to the playground.
That's splendid, Brussels officials say, seeing these, however, as isolated cases.
But mere recognition won't solve the problem.
A few months ago the European Commission gave all members a deadline until the end of 2011 to draw effective inclusion strategies for the 12 million Roma living in Europe. But time is running out, and what actions do they take?
By “curb them” the minister means “expel more Roma”, as he cites data that 80% of all crimes in Paris are committed by East European Roma. “We had planned 28,000 repatriations in 2011, but after recent evaluations of the problem's magnitude we'll raise the number," he said.
In its latest report on Europe's largest ethnic minority, the UN slams EU countries, saying that “in such key areas as housing, employment, education and health care, all the evidence demonstrates that Roma remain in desperate circumstances at the very bottom of the socio-economic ladder."
Taking all of these into account, EU states are conducting what some call a “modern-day genocide”. Experts say because of governmental reluctance and inaction Roma are doomed to survive through staggering poverty, starvation, social isolation and criminal environment. That's why they are often referred to as “The Forgotten People of Europe”.
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