Tag Archives: Romas

Are Lithuanians Accepting Of Diversity?

A recent poll of Lithuanians indicate a significant number of them would accept the presnce of Romas in their wokplace but would prefer not having much social interaction with them. Seven out of ten Lithuanians would not mind having Romas working beside them and they would also welcome those with different sexual orientations in the workplace. Apparently, the Lithuanians have come to accept the necessity of working with people from diverse backgrounds but they simply don’t want them as neighbors or would welcome them in their social interactions. There was an interesting split between attitudes of employers and workers. About 75% of bosses believe Romas lack the skills to perform job tasks as contrasted with 26% of employees having such views.

What do the polls tell us that we don’t know? There apparently is a slight shift in attitudes among many Lithuanians from great hostility to Romas and lesbians or gays to a more relaxed approach as long as interations take place at work. Change takes time, but for those living today, your time is taking place at the expense of their time.

Roma In Rumania Object of Hatred

President Traian Basescu of Rumania reminded his nation that discrimination against members of the Roma community still exists and must be ended. In message made public as Romas celebrated their International Day, the president said, “although it is a day of celebration, we must not forget the primordial design of the moment and that it is drawing the attention of Romanian and European citizens alike on the problems affecting the Roma minority, of commemorating the victims of this community in the Holocaust and reminding everybody our duty to maintain the language and traditions of this minority.” He pointed out his nation has about 600,000 Roma citizens whose children frequently do not attend school and whose parents encounter discrimination at work or finding a place to live.

The plight of Roma citizens is ordinarily ignored by most people which is a factor in leading to the continual discrimination and persecution of these people.

Neo-Nazis March Again In Budapest

The sight of a Nazi flag and the sound of marching boots once again was seen and heard on the streets of Budapest. A march by members of the Hungarian Guard (Maryar Garda) took place two days ago despite protests by civic organizations, but since the rally was authorized by the police, nothing could be done to halt it. The rally was held to make clear to Romas in the city the Hungarian Guard was watching them due to the beating to death by two Roma youths of a 17 year-old boy. Peter Kenda, a liberal journalist, was attacked by marchers who apparently believe anyone showing sympathy for Romas was, by definition, an enemy. Senior Catholic leaders denounced the decision by a chaplain to conduct a flag blessing for the neo-Nazis, this was the first time the Catholic church took a public stand about the Nazi group.

Sixty years after the end of Nazi and neo-Nazi groups in Hungary it is sad to witness their re-emergence in the 21st century. Although the Hungarian Guard represents a tiny minority, their presence is disturbing to the safety of the Roma population in Hungary.

Italy Denounced For Anti-Romanian Actions

The passage of a law in Italy which allowed citizens of the European Union who posed a threat to security to be summarily expelled from the country is encountering serious opposition in Europe. The “decree law” was signed by Prsident Napolitano within hours after the murder of Giovanna Reggiani, wife of a naval captain, by a member of the Roma community. A spokesperson for the EU Commission said such a law was only acceptable if it could be proven an individual was being charged, not an entire group. Gianfranco Fini, leader of the Fascist National Alliance said people should be exposed not only on grounds of being a security risk, but if they lacked sufficient income. Romania’s President Traian Basecu said he condemned attacks on Italians committed by Romanians, but he also condemned “any acts of violence aimed against Romanian citizens as well as any speech that incites people to disrespect the civil rights of Romanian citizens, regardless of where they live in the EU.” A few days ago four Romanians were beaten up in Rome.

The reality is that about 700,000 Romanians have migrated to Italy including many Romas. The facts are simple and clear –only 9 Romas have been convicted of murder in the past eight months. The death of Mrs. Reggiani is tragic, but her death should not be used to give support to violence against innocent people.