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Government faces Roma challenges

Author: Michaela Terenzani-Stanková - The Slovak Spectator Date: Thu, May 03 2012 4342 Views
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Living in poverty, receiving inadequate education, and then facing dismal chances of finding work in a tight labour market. Those are three disadvantages that Roma citizens, who often live in shantytowns on the outskirts of villages and towns, face every day, along with open or latent prejudice from the majority population. The social exclusion experienced by these citizens – usually termed "the Roma problem" by many politicians and ordinary Slovaks – is one of the important areas in which the new government must develop policy prescriptions.

It is not yet clear what approach the government led by prime minister Robert Fico will take, but some statements by government officials give an idea of the approaches that might be taken.

"We need to decide whether we’ll have a third generation of people without any perspective in life, fully dependent on the state, or we’ll start taking measures to stop this trend," Fico told the Hospodárske Noviny daily, adding that he thinks there are no standard methods to resolve "the Roma problem" in Slovakia, adding that the country may need to seek to modify some European human rights standards. The prime minister mentioned restricting Slovakia’s current social allowances to cover only three children and development of boarding schools for children from socially-excluded communities as possible directions.

Read more at The Slovak Spectator

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