Russian Gypsies denied 'baby-money' to buy new caravan

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

KALININGRAD, Russian Federation - A group of Gypsies in Russia's westernmost exclave of Kaliningrad has been denied a federal subsidy for a new caravan.

This happened already in February of 2009 but has only come to our attention as yet.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced at the end of 2008 that so-called 'baby-money,' a payment of 267,500 rubles ($7,700 at the current exchange rate) for families with two or more children could be used from the start of 2009 to help pay off mortgages or improve living conditions.

Before this, the payouts, which were introduced in 2007, could only be used after children reached the age of three.

The Gypsies filed a request for the sum saying that they needed it to buy a new caravan to house the group's many children. However, local authorities said the money could not be granted to them as a caravan was not recognized as official accommodation under Russian law.

So, unless you live in a house in Russia as a Gypsy you cannot get that money that is supposed to be due all citizens. Yet another way of discriminating against the Rom in Russia. Then again, what's new? As always, there is one law for the Gadje and one for the Rom.

Anti-Gypsyism in all forms is rampant in Europe, whether in the European Union member states or elsewhere. So, such minor incidents, I am sure, should not surprise us at all. Sooner or later the living in a caravan, for Rom, will be outlawed, it should not surprise me, in many countries once again.

Do I have far too dark view of things? I do not think so. I saw the writing on the wall where everyone was still trying to tell us how great the EU was supposed to be for all the Rom and how they were going to protect us and our Culture, etc. Yeah! Right! And pigs fly as well.

© 2009