Reader feedback:

Re: Roma childbirth two and a half times higher than the rest of population, News Briefs, Volume 10, Number 47, December 6-12

I wonder what the infant mortality rate is like in this community? We go to Slovakia every year several times on holiday and had noticed less Roma suffering from abject poverty in recent years. However, we took some relatives to visit Spišský castle and travelled via back roads to get there. I was shocked and outraged to pass an enormous Roma encampment. There was obviously no running water; no electricity and this had been conveniently sited away from any area of population. This area could have been photographed and labelled as Soweto. This is the unacceptable face of Roma deprivation - that in Europe in 2004 anyone should have to live in these conditions. I am aware that the Roma consume a disproportionate amount of social security benefits in the opinion of some. However, apartheid is equally unacceptable when it is white to white and these poor souls do not deserve to be forced to live like this. My wife is Polish and I do understand that many East Europeans dislike Roma in the same way some Germans dislike Turks and the British dislike the French. However, that sight is almost enough to give me nightmares when I think of these poor souls now it is winter.

Tim Phillips

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