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Čaplovič: Roma are EU citizens and cannot request political asylum

The members of Roma nationality in Slovakia are citizens of the European Union, so it's not possible for them to apply for political asylum in other EU-member countries, Slovak Deputy Prime Minister for Knowledge-Based Society, European Affairs, Human Rights and Minorities Dušan Čaplovič said in Bratislava on January 7 following his meeting with the representatives of Belgium's Immigration Office.

The members of Roma nationality in Slovakia are citizens of the European Union, so it's not possible for them to apply for political asylum in other EU-member countries, Slovak Deputy Prime Minister for Knowledge-Based Society, European Affairs, Human Rights and Minorities Dušan Čaplovič said in Bratislava on January 7 following his meeting with the representatives of Belgium's Immigration Office.

At the end of December, the number of Roma migrants from Slovakia asking for political asylum in Belgium had increased and as many as 90 percent of them came from Košice, Čaplovič said, adding that they were influenced by attractive offers of organized group that had intentionally misinformed them. He said it was necessary to notify families in Košice and tell them that they shouldn't let themselves be fooled.

On January 8, the Belgian officials will meet members of the Roma community, regional representatives, the mayors of the Košice Region and the representatives of schools. They will also meet Košice mayor František Knapík, and visit the Košice borough of Luník IX, which was built to house Roma, and a borough in Košické Nová Ves. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports

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