Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Romanian President Is Fined for Insulting Roma; Said Roma Avoid Work, Make a Living by Stealing

Romania's anti-discrimination council yesterday fined President Traian Basescu 600 lei (about 130 euro) for saying that Roma/Gypsy people avoid work and make a living mainly by stealing, the Balkan Insight website reports today (February 11, 2014).

Basescu made his comments back in 2010 at a news conference in Slovenia. Addressing the problem of Roma integration, he said: "Very few of them want to work... and traditionally, many of them live off stealing."

Roma activists welcomed the imposition of the fine. "It is an important, and even more symbolic, act of justice. We hope this decision will make other people stop discriminating against the Roma people," Marian Mandache, from the Romani Criss Roma rights organization, said.

Basescu himself has not reacted in public about the ruling.

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