The media dramatise problems with the Roma minority in some cases, said Slovakia’s Government Proxy for Roma Communities, Ľudovít Galbavý, at a session of parliament’s human rights committee on October 22, adding that he bases this opinion on his experiences travelling around Slovakia, the TASR newswire reported.
Galbavý pointed to media reports about Roma crimes in Krompachy, claiming that “the nature of the Roma criminality wasn't as (serious) as it was presented in the media”.
The other case mentioned by the proxy concerns construction of a wall in Ostrovany which allegedly has been built in order to separate Roma people from the white majority in the village. According to Galbavý, no such a separation is taking place in Ostrovany.
Local mayor Cyril Revák said the wall was built because of the frequent thefts of fruit, vegetables and wood from peoples' gardens. Galbavý told he had already submitted a complaint to the Human Rights Centre in connection with the case. Galbavý wants to wait for their judgement and, if necessary, will also ask Ombudsman Pavol Kandráč for his view and take appropriate measures afterwards.
MPs agreed at the session that the committee should make its own inquiry and therefore Smer MP Peter Obrimčák will visit the village with independent MP László Nagy wanting to join him. Galbavý appreciated the MPs' initiative and he plans to accompany them.
Galbavý informed the committee that he had proposed formation of an external commission to deal with Roma issues. Various ministries have already showed interest in having their representatives be part of it. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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23. Oct 2009 at 10:00