VALERIIU Nicolae from the Brussels-based European Roma Information Office sparked fiery discussion after saying that the Slovak press is one of the most racist in Europe, the news wire SITA wrote.
After Slovak journalists from the Association of European Journalists (AEJ) sharply protested, the Slovak Syndicate of Journalists (SSN) also expressed its opposition to the statement.
The SSN said that the statement attacking Eric van der Linden, the head of the European Commission Representation to Slovakia, for his idea on elementary boarding schools for Roma children clearly indicated that the European Roma Information Office had no idea about the situation of the Slovak media its support for solving Roma problems.
The European Roma Information Office lashed out at Slovak journalists for their positive presentation of the recent statements by van der Linden, the European Commission representative to Slovakia. In an interview with a Dutch TV station, van der Linden recommended elementary boarding schools for Roma children, sparking stormy discussion. The commission banned its diplomat from addressing the topic further.
It is apparent that the centre does not know about the positive reactions of Roma leaders and organisations to the idea van der Linden presented, said the SSN.
The SSN said that the statement by the Brussels organisation have harmed the reputation of Slovak journalism. The syndicate called on its representative at the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) congress in Athens, Zuzana Krutka, to communicate to participants the discomfort of Slovak journalists at the statement.
Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
28. May 2004 at 10:30