Over 300 Roma met at a protest rally in the eastern Slovak town of Michalovce, where there are only 114 available jobs for the 14,298 unemployed, the daily SME wrote.
The Roma protested their deteriorating social situation. The speakers condemned the government’s social reforms, which have brought along severe cuts to the Roma's social benefits.
One of the organisers of the protest, Ivan Tokár, said that it is no political party that is fuelling the rallies; rather, the Roma are acing out of despair from having difficulty surviving.
Tokár said that the Roma do not want any social benefits; they want jobs and living conditions similar to those in western Slovakia.
Over the past week, several Roma protests were held in different eastern Slovak towns, especially in the Michalovce district.
Ladislav Fizík, the chairman of the Roma Parliament in Slovakia, told the press that the Roma are preparing another demonstration for February 25.
Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
13. Feb 2004 at 10:14