Another case of Anti-Gypsy-ism in Action

Roma Ghetto in Sofia's Studentski Grad Quarter Demolished

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The Roma shantytown located close to block of flats No. 55 in Sofia's Studentski Grad Quarter has been demolished Wednesday under strict security measures.

About a dozen of shacks were destroyed and the remains of them were transported by three trucks, authorities said.

At the time of demolition, there was only one eight-member family as all other Roma citizens left the spot voluntarily following the official order issued by the district Mayor Dimitar Dilchev.

The some ninety Roma residing in the ghetto were scheduled to be transported to their places of origin the same way the Roma living illegally in the Mladost Quarter were sent to their home towns two weeks ago, the Demographic Policy Committee of the Sofia City Council decided.

However, as the shacks and other belongings are the private property of the people concerned some will be filing claims to the Prosecutor's office.

The makeshift ghettos around Sofia appear because the Roma squatters are unable to make living at their provincial hometowns and came to Sofia in search for work.

Now, once again, the Roma have been deported to the very place where they are unable to find any work, whether in employment or as self-employed and once again they are back in the cycle of poverty and dependence.

What, actually, is happening to all the monies that are going into the countries such as Romania and, in this instance, Bulgaria, via the EU and the Open Society Institute and Papa Soros? Where are the projects that those millions of Euro are supposedly funding, those projects that are, supposedly, hauling Gypsies out of poverty and into work?

As it would appear they do not exist, but then again, I for one did not expect them to. This was just a rhetorical question and one that was meant to give the reader, yet again, a little food for thought as regards the “Decade of Roma Inclusion”.

© M Smith (Veshengro), June 2008