Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook

Homeless Slovak Roma in Brussels draw media attention

SINCE May 13 the Belgian media have been following the lives of a number of Roma families from Slovakia who became homeless after being moved out of charitable facilities in Brussels, the TASR newswire reported. 

(Source: TASR)

While in Brussels on May 18 Slovak Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajčák stated that the Slovak authorities have been aware of the problem for several years now.

“We provide assistance to all of our citizens that approach us with a request for help, but this wasn’t the case in this instance,” Lajčák said, as quoted by TASR, adding that although the Roma in question have not contacted the Slovak authorities yet, they complained to Belgian journalists that nobody is helping them.

The Roma claim that they come from Košice and that they travelled to Belgium because they were victims of persecution in Slovakia.

Lajčák went on to specify that the Roma concerned are groups that have been in Belgium for nearly 10 years. He referred to them as “familiar faces”. They do not have the status of asylum seekers or of immigrants and they chose to leave Slovakia, opting for this way of life, he said.

“They can come back home at any time,” Lajčák said, as quoted by TASR. “I see no space for the Slovak government and Slovak institutions to engage in this, unless they [the Roma] express their interest in it.”

Top stories

In praise of concrete

It was once notorious for its drab tower blocks and urban crime, but Petržalka now epitomises modern Slovakia.

Petržalka is the epitome of communist-era architecture.

Slow down, fashion

Most people are unaware that buying too many clothes too harms the environment.

In shallow waters, experts are expendable

Mihál says that it is Sulík, the man whom his political opponents mocked for having a calculator for a brain, who “is pulling the party out of liberal waters and towards somewhere completely different”.

Richard Sulík is a man of slang.

Blog: Exploring 20th century military sites in Bratislava

It seems to be the fate of military sites and objects in Bratislava that none of them were ever used for the purposes they were built for - cavernas from WWI, bunkers from WWII, nuclear shelters or the anti-aircraft…

One nuclear shelter with a capacity for several hundred people now serves as a music club with suitable name Subclub (formerly U-club).