Where have all the EU funds gone?

COALITION ANO party boss Pavol Rusko and some activists are asking what has happened to hundreds of millions of crowns given by local governments and the EU to various Roma projects.

Many activists think that a more coherent approach to distributing funds is necessary, stating that large sums of money have gone to various experts and advisors for the preparation of studies, rather than to concrete projects for the Roma.

"When the PHARE 1998 programme that concentrated on the Spiš region was evaluated, we found that out of a total Sk17 million (404,000 euro) [for the project], a non-Roma agency securing the programme received Sk10 million (238,000 euro)," said journalist and human-rights activist Andrej Bán.

With an estimated population of 400,000, members of the Roma minority are among the country's poorest inhabitants, often living in ghetto-like settlements mainly in the east of the country.

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