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Wednesday, 1 April 2009 - Brussels OJ edition

One-minute speeches on matters of political importance

  Lívia Járóka (PPE-DE) . – (HU) Next week International Roma Day will be celebrated worldwide, symbolising the Roma’s hope of recognition and acceptance. Recently, horrible deeds have ratcheted up the emotions of public opinion, and the uncertainties caused by the economic crisis are further aggravating the situation. Therefore our responsibility to find a solution to the problems of extreme poverty has increased exponentially.

It is unacceptable for anyone to use the situation of the Roma to make party political attacks and to arouse hysteria instead of taking effective action. Scapegoating and labelling of an entire group makes vocational training impossible, and is a serious violation of the interests of both the Roma and the majority. As a Roma, after centuries of exclusion suffered by our communities I reject every form of collective guilt, whether we are talking about labelling the Roma or the majority society.

To accuse entire communities of a criminal lifestyle or of racism is a grave error, and entirely undermines the dignity of EU institutions if they base their communications on unverified reports or false allegations. It is unacceptable for certain political forces to seek to justify themselves by appealing to historical grievances of persecuted groups.

The problems of Roma ghettoes can only be resolved by a European action plan ensuring complex reintegration and immediate development of the excluded regions.

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