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IN SHORT

Journalism association rejects accusations

VALERIU Nicolae from the Brussels-based European Roma Information Office sparked fiery debate 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 sharply protested, the Slovak Syndicate of Journalists (SSN) also expressed its opposition to the statement.

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 controversy. The commission banned its diplomat from addressing the topic further.

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 and its support for solving Roma problems.

"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 has harmed the reputation of Slovak journalism. The syndicate called on its representative at the International Federation of Journalists congress in Athens, Zuzana Krutka, to voice the discomfort of Slovak journalists to congress participants.

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