SLOVAKIA’S President Ivan Gašparovič has used a summit of regional heads of state to call for more scrutiny, and possible criticism, of the Roma minority.
Speaking at a November 5-6 meeting of presidents of the Visegrad Group (V4) in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, he complained about criticism directed at central European countries, including Slovakia, over their treatment of Roma.
“We are continuously criticised for the Roma issue across all of Europe. But I have never seen anyone in the world criticising the other side [i.e. the Roma],” Gašparovič said.
He added that more attention should be devoted to Roma issues in Europe.
Several hundred thousand Roma live in Slovakia, many in informal settlements without proper heating or sanitation in which life expectancy is significantly lower than among the general population. There are no Roma MPs in the Slovak parliament or at a senior level in government.
The V4 presidents – host Václav Klaus of the Czech Republic, Pál Schmitt of Hungary and Bronislav Komorowski of Poland, as well as Gašparovič – also discussed the European economic and social model.
15. Nov 2010 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff