Bulgarian Govt. to Pump Cash into Roma Integration
PHOTO GHETTO IN SOFIA, BULGARIA. FILE PICTURE
According to a recently announced large-scale action plan of the Cabinet a new effort for Roma integration is under way. More specifically, the program concerns the integration of the younger generation of Roma people in Bulgaria ? from toddlers to high school students.
Part of the necessary financing ? forty million euros ? will come as a loan from the International Bank for Restoration and Development, while the Bulgarian government will allocate fifteen million levs for professional training of the young Roma people.
Another ten million levs will be allocated to build housing for the hundreds of homeless Roma people across the country.
And while some far-rights in Bulgaria may oppose this policy line of the GERB government, statistical data show that fifty percent of the newborns in the country are not ethnic Bulgarians. And if we leave these newborns without support for socialization and integration in the society, the consequences may be quite serious.
A large mass of illiterate and angry young Roma people is a ticking time bomb that may go off in the near future.
However, the government should take the necessary measures so as to guarantee that the beneficiaries observe their duties and responsibilities on the program for social integration. For instance, the Roma parents who are allowed social benefits, but who do not send their children to school should be sanctioned accordingly.
The success of the government?s initiative lies in finding the right balance between the carrot and the stick.