The head of the Roma Union Party (SRÚ), František Tanko, called on Slovak National Party (SNS) chairman Ján Slota on February 8 to immediately remove billboards that he believes attack Slovakia’s Roma minority.
"We Gypsies are people and citizens of this country, too," Tanko said as quoted by the TASR newswire, announcing his plan to file a criminal complaint about SNS's billboards.
Tanko described the slogans on at least three billboards as having a racist undercurrent. 'Let's not put up with parasites!', 'How much longer are we going to pay for the Roma?' and 'Matovič wants to get Gypsies into parliament,' are the slogans on the billboards, TASR wrote.
Tanko added that parties have used the so-called ‘Roma card’ as a tool to get into parliament and they are not concerned about addressing problems plaguing the Roma population.
In defending SNS's billboards, Slota said that he does not object to the prospect of Roma citizens making it into parliament. "If there are enough voters and they vote 150 Gypsies in parliament, then we'll have 150 Gypsies in there. What's racist about that?" Slota asked at a press conference on February 7.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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