HUNDREDS of Roma raided supermarkets and food stores in eastern Slovak towns and villages during the weekend in what Roma leaders said was a response to the decrease in social benefits caused by the ongoing social reform.
During the weekend, Roma attacked stores in Drahňovce, Čierna nad Tisou, and Trhovište.
The raiders took hundreds of thousands of crowns worth of food.
Although Economy Minister Pavol Rusko asked PM Mikuláš Dzurinda to hold a special cabinet meeting, the PM's spokesman, Martin Maruška, said Labour Minister Ľudovít Kaník would deal with the situation, the Slovak daily SME wrote.
Kaník is expected to meet with Interior Minister Vladimír Palko at the start of this week.
Roma Parliament, an unofficial union of Roma political parties, is organising a countrywide protest on February 25. In addition to protesting the social policies of the current cabinet, the participants will not send their children to school for the first lesson in the morning.
"We want to show that our children want to earn but they don't have the money to buy shoes and clothes," head of Roma Parliament Ladislav Fízik said.
Compiled by Martina Pisárová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
23. Feb 2004 at 9:54