Gypsies infiltrate real estate market with legal scam

THE PROPRIETORS of luxury condominiums in the Algarve have been thrown into panic following a spate of incidents involving a group of gypsies and a lucrative scam - activities that are resulting in developers being swindled out of thousands of euros. The problem is that, although it is a con, the scheme is entirely legal.

The strategy is simple but very effective. Túlia, well spoken with deep blue eyes, appears interested in purchasing an expensive apartment. A Contrato-Promessa de Compra e Venda, a preliminary sales contract, is signed upon receipt of a cash deposit. However, with the legal document safely in her possession, Túlia then introduces her family.

Dirty and dressed in rags, they cause several scenes such as the children discarding all their clothes and jumping into the communal pool, spreading dogs mess and various other displays of anti-social behaviour and disrespectful conduct.

In one particularly shocking incident, knives were displayed and the sound of gunshots could be heard. The seller or developer involved then finds it necessary to cancel the contract, a move that, by law, obliges them to refund the buyer with double the deposited amount.

Well known developments such as the Marina de Albufeira, Mourapraia and Terraços do Pinhal in Vilamoura are just some of the condominiums that have been targeted so far, as well as several in Armação de Pêra, Lagos and Albufeira. All have been duped and found themselves legally bound to pay between 15,000 and 45,000 euros. It is feared the con artists are also operating in Lisbon.

Some business owners claim to have also been subjected to threats of physical violence, however, one victim commented: "It isn't worth presenting a complaint because this only causes more problems." The developers believe that someone with a legal background could be behind this scam.

Police warning

Captain António Matias of Albufeira GNR confirmed that the police have been informed of several incidents relating to the gypsies' scam and warns: "It is necessary for promoters and developers in the real estate sector to be very vigilant." The problem, he explains, is that the contract is legal and it is only possible for the authorities to intervene when there are threats of violence or behaviour which threatens the peace.


The entire story does not ring true as to the behavior supposedly being conducted by Romani People unless they are outcasts, as they should be is they handle dog excrement and such. No tatcho Romani would behave as described. Makes one think as to how much truth and how much hype is in this story.

Bid to beat the 'traveller' stereotypes

by James Goffin

21 October 2005

They don't pay taxes. They all live in caravans. And they sponge off the state.

Those are just some of the misconceptions about gipsies and travellers a watershed conference in Norfolk yesterday aimed to break.

The Norfolk Gipsy and Traveller Conference at Easton College, near Norwich, brought together members of the communities themselves, the police, local authorities and other agencies in a bid to build better understanding on both sides.

The conference was the first of its kind in Norfolk, despite the fact travelling communities have lived in the county for more than 500 years.

It was opened by Norfolk Chief Constable Carole Howlett, and included sessions on health, education, management of sites and access to support services and justice.

But the event builds on years of work between local authorities, that has seen all seven district councils and the county council create a joint strategy for travelling communities.

They have also worked together with police to agree a way of dealing with illegal camps - the biggest source of conflict between travellers and the settled community - though with more than 350 gipsy caravans in Norfolk but only five local authority sites and seven stopping places, it seems almost inevitable there will be some spill over.

But even that association of the gipsy community with caravans is out of date. Romani journalist Jake Bowers told the conference there was a lot of work to do in breaking pre-conceptions. "Not all of us live in caravans, in fact most of us don't any more. I live in a house, but that doesn't mean I leave behind our culture when we cross the threshold," he said.

"The idea we don't contribute is wrong. Even people that live on council sites can pay £100 a week to live there for a concrete base and a utility block.

"People don't talk about us paying council tax, paying VAT, or the businesses that we have founded."

Even for Norfolk County Council Cabinet member Ian Monson, the conference was an admitted "eye opener".

"The holding of this conference demonstrates our commitment to make positive changes. Holding the conference itself will not make a difference but the partnerships that come out of it can," he said.

Peter Mercer, chairman of the East Anglian Gipsy Council, said he was more positive than for a long time the event was more than a talking shop.

"What we are talking about today, 10 years ago we wouldn't have been talking about at all. I've been to many conferences that haven't gone anywhere, but this time there does seem to be real movement with the police and others to address the problems. They accept there's a lot more to do, and getting together and talking to each other is to the benefit of us all," he said.

Conference for the Implementation of Action Plan for Roma and Sinti People

14. 10. 2005

The OSCE will be holding a joint international conference on the implementation of policies and action plans for Roma, Sinti and Travellers, and measures against the anti-Gypsyism phenomenon in Europe.

This conference will take place in Warsaw, Poland on the 20th and 21st of October, 2005. The conference will focus on the implementation of the Action Plan for Improvement of the Situation of the Roma and Sinti within the OSCE Area; the Council of Europe's relevant recommendations on Roma and Travellers; and European Union standards.

Almost two years ago the Action Plan for Improvement of the Situation of the Roma and Sinti was institued by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE). However, the Dzeno Association feels that little seems to have been done towards implementing this plan, and worse, government officials seem to have no idea that the document even exsists. The action plan sets forth guidelines for eliminating discrimination and providing policies for police to follow concerning the proper treatment of the Roma and Sinti people, and for ensuring that Roma and Sinti people are included in decisions concerning health care, education, and public life.

Part of the problem may be that the public itself has not been included in the discussion of the problems or possible solutions. In the Czech Republic the OSCE distributes the Action Plan in English only, thus denying the opportunity for society at large to even read the document. Because of this oversight, there is little possibility for public pressure on governmental officials to begin enforcing a document that all 55 members states have signed and thereby promised to enforce.

To read the full-text document (in English) visit:
(Written for Dzeno Association by Kim Kasey)

Oh, how nice! Yet another gabfest that will achieve yet again nothing.

Personal health records for Gypsies-Travellers

14. 10. 2005

(Scottish Executive News)

A hand-held patient record for Gypsies/Travellers which aims to improve the continuity of care of travelling communities was launched today. The Patient Record of Personal Health will allow Gypsies/Travellers to have complete and detailed medical information with them at all times.

The record is an A5 booklet which can be referred to and updated by health professionals whenever medical advice or treatment is sought. The new patient record has been designed through collaboration between Gypsy/Traveller communities and the National Resource Centre for Ethnic Minority Health ( NRCEMH ).

Health Minister Andy Kerr said: "We are committed to improving the health of people in Scotland and tackling health inequalities. This new record is one way of helping make sure that people in travelling communities do not slip through the net. "The hand-held record will ensure that wherever individuals are they will have their up to date medical records. This will improve communication throughout their contact with the health service and enable healthcare professionals to deliver effective treatment quickly."

Deputy Communities Minister Johann Lamont said: "We are improving the lives of Gypsy/Travellers, and the health record goes a long way to ensuring people can access the most appropriate treatments wherever they are in the country. "This is just one part of our broader work to make sure we meet the differing needs of Gypsy/Traveller communities in Scotland."

Rafik Gardee, the Director of NRCEMH, said: "Our pilot action research suggests that NHS Boards generally face a considerable challenge in improving access to health services for Gypsies/Travellers. We believe that the hand-held record can make a real difference in terms of meeting this challenge."

Martha Kennedy, Chair of the NRCEMH Gypsy/Traveller Steering Group and herself a Gypsy/Traveller, welcomed the launch, saying: "This is an important step in addressing the health care needs of Gypsy/Traveller communities."

'Gypsies' Rob Elderly Ross Township Woman

Oct 13, 2005 9:25 am US/Eastern

KDKA's David Highfield reports that an elderly woman became a victim of a home invasion.

Police say three "gypsies" tricked the woman into letting them into her home on Wednesday afternoon.

The woman realized something was wrong when the men were inside her home.

She reached for the phone to call for help, but they ripped the cord out and then knocked her to ground.

She came over to my place and asked to use the phone that she had been robbed, a neighbor said. I sat her down and she was shaking a lot.

A 74-year old woman who lives alone in Ross Township near Route 279.

Three men knocked on her door.

They told her they worked for the city and they needed to check her water pressure because of some nearby construction, said Ross Township police detective Bill Barrett.

Not wanting to be rude, the woman let them in.

The robbers knocked her to the floor, ordered her to stay there, said they had guns and demanded to know where her valuables were.

They meet the criteria for what's commonly referred to as gypsies - people that travel around and do these types of crimes, Barrett said.

The robbers don't know it, but along with other valuables, they stole a Christmas gift from the victim's dying husband.

Her husband had passed recently and he bought her a nice big TV and they took that, the neighbor said. And she was very upset because that's how she spends her evenings.

MMV, CBS Broadcasting Inc., All Rights Reserved.


So Gypsies, according Detective Barrett, are people that travel around and do these types of crimes. Maybe Det. Barrett wants to have a word with true Gypsies. I would be happy to connect with him via the Internet, as neither he nor I live in the same area let alone the same continent even.

Gypsies leave council with £90,000 utilities bill

By Peter Zimonjic

(Filed: 16/10/2005)

Gypsies have left a council with a £50,000 electricity bill because meter readers were too scared to visit a notorious camp to take readings.

Somerset county council claims that Southern Electric staff were too frightened to set foot on the site so issued the council with bills based on estimated figures.

Ian Cairns, the council's gypsy liaison officer, said: "When we realised we had been receiving estimates for a long period of time we asked for a proper reading. That was when we suddenly got the big bill."

Combined with an earlier "mix up" over a water bill at another site, council taxpayers in Somerset are facing a total bill of £93,178.

The combined sum dwarfs the council's entire budget for operating gypsy and traveller sites, which for 2005/06 is £79,100.

The site at Berkley, near Frome, is one of six encampments in Somerset. Residents who live nearby say it is a source of crime and a menace to the community.

Negotiations between the council, Southern Electric and Wessex Water have since reduced the total bill to £60,000, which is expected to be paid out of the council's taxpayer-funded contingency account.

Yesterday, Southern Electric denied that its meter readers were too afraid to enter the site and said the estimated readings were given only because it could not gain access. The council has since installed a new electricity meter which it says will be read monthly by the council's own staff.

Gypsies in fight for their 'human rights'

GYPSIES from all over England met in Fenstanton to form an organisation to fight for their "basic human rights" - a place to live and education for their children.
Chairman of the as yet unnamed umbrella organisation is Cliff Codona, founder of the National Travellers Action Group.

Mr Codona hit the headlines earlier this year when he teamed up with Robert Kilroy-Silk, the former UKIP member and television presenter. Mr Kilroy-Silk spent a week with a family of Romany gypsies for a Channel 4 documentary.

Representatives of a dozen groups decided to set up a permanent umbrella organisation. It has close links with the residents of Smithy Fen site in Cottenham and aims to spearhead the campaign against a "dangerous tide of anti-Gypsy racism" in the UK.

As a first step, the meeting elected delegates to the new European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF).

Mr Codona said: "Those living under this threat are best qualified to speak for their communities.

"Our voices will now be heard."

He told the meeting he had recently been thrown off his own land because of anti-Gypsy prejudice.

Kay Beard, of the UK Association of Gypsy Women, was elected with Mr Codona as a primary delegate to the ERTF, along with six deputy delegates.

She condemned the Government for years of "lip-service" to travellers' rights, saying: "They listen to us but so far have taken no notice."

She said lack of Government action had precipitated a worse crisis, with caravan parks and private yards being closed and more families pitched back on the road every day. She had gone to the Council of Europe to complain.

Speaking for Dale Farm, the settlement of travellers at Basildon threatened by a £3 million demolition operation, Richard Sheridan said one effective way to put pressure on councils and the Government was through Strasbourg.

He said: "We're not getting respect and we're certainly not getting even basic rights."
The new organisation will meet before the first session of the ERTF in Strasbourg during December.


Oh great! Another organizations that can create gabfests and join the others in theirs. Are we going to see anything done? Even with Cliff Cordona, I am afraid, I don't think so. Romanichals that involve themselves with the illegal Irish Traveller encampment of Dale Farm are not doing the Romani-Gypsies of the UK any service whatsoever. It is rather a disservice for, while all eyes are upon the Irish Travellers on Dale Farm no one sees the Romanichals who are being evicted on a daily basis from their own pieces of land and no one says kek. Nor does anyone say a word when it comes to the way that Romanichals are pushed off their pitches on permanent sites by armed Traveller scum. Those Romani who put the Irish Traveller issue before the issues affecting Romani-Gypsies in the UK (and elsewhere) are traitors to our Race.


By Ben Pindar, Community Newswire

VOLUNTEER Gypsy Liverpool, Yesterday, 4:02pm
A Gypsy from Liverpool who is helping to create an information pack about his culture following the death of his son in a racist attack was today being honoured at the House of Lords.

Patrick Delaney was joining more than a dozen Gypsies at the event in London which aimed to recognise the voluntary work carried out by Gypsies and Travellers around the UK.

Mr Delaney was invited to the "Playing a Part in Communities" reception after joining a team who are trying to diffuse inter-racial tensions by producing an information guide about the Gypsy culture.

He is carrying out the work after his son was killed in a racism-fuelled attack two years ago.

The reception was set up to mark the Year of the Volunteer campaign's "Citizenship and Community Month".

At the event Mr Delaney was being joined by a number of fellow Gypsies including Richard O'Neill, from Manchester, who performs important work for health, including founding National Men's Health Week and Bridie Jones, from Canterbury, who works with local schools and police to improve relations with the Gypsy community and prevent bullying.

Also attending the reception was Siobhan Spencer, from Matlock, Derbyshire, who helped create "Pride Not Prejudice", an annual forum helping to break down barriers between Travellers and the police.

Andrew Ryder, policy worker for the Gypsy and Traveller Law Reform Coalition, which was awarded the Liberty Human Rights Award in 2004, said: "Gypsies and Travellers have the lowest life expectancy and the highest child mortality rates in the UK and according to Trevor Phillips, the chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, they probably suffer the most discrimination in this country. But many of them continue to volunteer their time for the benefit of their and the wider community.

"Hopefully by having their voices heard at the highest court in the land some of the stereotypes will be broken.

"Gypsies and travellers will perhaps get the praise they deserve, allowing their community as a whole to take pride in knowing that the work being done is appreciated."

The event was also featuring live traditional music and was being hosted by Lord Avebury, Secretary of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Traveller Law Reform and Julie Morgan MP, chairwoman of the group.

The Year of the Volunteer is backed by the Home Office and led by CSV and the Volunteering England Consortium.

To find out about volunteering opportunities in your area visit the Year of the Volunteer website at

I would just like to know since when Mr. Delaney is a Gypsy because he is not, he is Irish Traveller and Irish Travellers are NOT Gypsies according to the Dictionary definition. Nor are they ethnic Gypsies as are the Romani-Gypsies in the UK. Only Romani-Gypsies, Sikhs and Jews are recognized ethnic minorities in the United Kingdom and Irish Travellers do not fall into that category however much they and some others wish to make it. Period! Will this stupidity ever end?
While Mr. Delaney's son was killed by people who hated Travellers and maybe, even, Gypsies, it does not make it a racial attack. They do not like Travellers, those thugs, and would not have a clue as to even Romani-Gypsies being a Race. Irish Traverllers, let's face it, are not a separate race of people but just white people living in trailers pretending to be Gypsies. I am not wishing to make light of the boy's death, far from it, but it was not a "racially motivated attack". And having murderd by thugs also does not make him or his father or anyone else suddenly Gypsy. The Delaneys are Irish Travellers and that's that. Period! Dosta!

OSCE Meeting Concerned with Situation of Roma

3. 10. 2005

The OSCE Human Dimension Implementation Meeting (HDIM) took place in Warsaw, Poland, between September 19 and 30. The HDIM agenda included fundamental topics such as democracy, international migrations, human rights, tolerance and anti-discrimination. Several working sessions held during the meeting were dedicated to the situation of Roma in Europe.

The session 'Tolerance and non-discrimination' addressed issues related to national minorities and to the implementation of the OSCE Action Plan on Improving the Situation of Roma and Sinti within the OSCE area.

The action plan, adopted in November 2003, is intended to reinforce the efforts aimed at ensuring that Roma and Sinti people are able to play a full and equal part in the society. OSCE Action Plan is divided in ten sections dealing with problems that affect Romany people such as low education, media racism, and discrimination in public and political life's participation.

OSCE recognized the particular problems of Roma as early as 1990 and as a result Contact Point for Roma and Sinti Issues (CPRSI) was established in 1994 within the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR).The Contact Point works to promote full integration of Roma into the societies they live in, while preserving their identity.

(Dzeno Association)

Oh nice! Another gabfest on the situation of the Roma - what only the Roma? - no Sinti or Kale? - no surprise there either - in Europe. Another lot of lova wasted on a gathering of eggheads from which nothing will emerge that is of use to the grassroots of Amare Fohki because no one bothers to even ask those on the bottom what they need but they all impose what they, the eggheads, think is best for the poor downtrodden Romani. This then means that nothing will be done to benefit those on the bottom rungs of the ladder because all lova that is "gathered" ends up not in anything beneficial but in the pockets of the leaders.

Scottish ministers accused of failing Gypsies

THE Scottish Executive was criticised by MSPs today for not doing enough to improve the quality of life for Gypsy travellers.

The Scottish Parliament's equal opportunities committee said there had only been patchy progress since it produced a damning report four years ago.

And it said extreme levels of "discrimination and vilification" against Gypsy travellers persisted across Scotland.

The committee reported in 2001 that Gypsy travellers in Scotland faced institutional racism and harassment and recommended they should be given ethnic minority status.
But in a new report today it concluded the Executive had made "insufficient progress" in responding to the issue. The committee found progress across the country had been "patchy and slow".

Committee convener Labour MSP Cathy Peattie said: "The evidence is clear and unequivocal: the progress made against our earlier recommendations is inadequate and inconsistent, and the pace of progress is far too slow."


New wave of asylum seekers comes to Czech Republic from Slovakia

KOSICE, East Slovakia/(PDM staff with CTK) 6 October - The Czech Republic has registered a new influx of asylum seekers from Slovakia. The majority are Romany citizens from the Kosice region, Jana Matejusova from the Czech Interior Ministry's press department told CTK yesterday.

According to recently published data of the Czech Interior Ministry, 619 Slovak citizens applied for asylum in the Czech Republic this year, which is more than four times more than last year.

The last wave of Slovak asylum seekers was in 2003 when the record number of 1,055 applications were submitted. The media then talked about an exodus of Romanies from Slovakia.

Ladislav Sana, mayor of Kosice-Lunik IX, which is the largest Romany housing estate in Slovakia, said that Slovak Romanies are leaving the region in great numbers.

But the chances of Slovak applicants to obtain asylum in the Czech Republic are nearly zero because Slovaks as EU citizens cannot get asylum in another EU country, according to EU law. Moreover, most of them state that their reason for leaving their country is financial. Czech authorities have not granted asylum to any Slovak citizen since 1993 when Czechoslovakia split into two countries.

Czeslaw Walek from the Czech government council for Romany affairs said that the influx of Slovak Romanies worsens the already bad living conditions of their Czech relatives, who often accommodate them at their homes.

"The Czech families already live on the poverty line, in small flats. The arrival of newcomers worsens their adverse situation," Walek said.

However, the government council receives information on the arrival of Slovak Romanies from Romany regional coordinators and they have not registered any mass influx recently.

Apart from hundreds of asylum seekers, thousands of Slovak Romanies who seek jobs come to the country every year. Hospodarske noviny (HN) yesterdy estimated that the number of Slovak job seekers is three to five times higher than that of the asylum seekers

Lunix IX mayor Sana said that Romanies leave mainly to seek jobs and also because they feel they are the victims of discrimination.

"It in fact is no surprise to me. They mostly leave to find to jobs as there is no work here. They don't have problems getting a job in the Czech Republic and nobody discriminates against them," Sana told CTK.

Romanies from Bystrany, east Slovakia, leave Slovakia as well but they mostly travel to Britain, not to the Czech Republic. "They go to Britain to make money and then they return again," Bystrany mayor Frantisek Ziga said.

Countering the exodus reports, Pavlovce nad Uhom mayor Jan Jansto said he has not heard about people going abroad, though it was common in the past for Romanies, who form two-thirds of the municipality, to go abroad, especially to Belgium.

Romany activist Magda Karacova said Romanies from central Slovakia stay at home even if their living conditions are deplorable. "Romanies from the region are poor but they live in peace. We have not registered any mass exodus and nothing of the kind is expected," she said. Over 95 percent of the Romanies in Zarnovice where Karacova lives are unemployed.

The Slovak government's regional coordinator Andrea Buckova from Banska Bystrica, central Slovakia, nevertheless said she believes that there are still reasons for Romanies to leave their homes and move abroad. She said these reasons are mainly financial as the differences in the Czech and Slovak living conditions have even increased in the last several years after the implementation of the Slovak social reforms, which greatly reduced benefits for the unemployed.

CTK news edited by the staff of the Prague Daily Monitor, a Monitor CE service.

Oh, but why would those Romani be fleeing the Slovak Republic, one of the new EU states as, according to the EU, having accepted this country, everything regarding the Romani People there is hunky-dory. They must be economic migrants looking for a better live in the West [sarcasm off/].

Greek Gov't Bombarded with Accusations of Human Rights Violations

By Anadolu News Agency (aa)

Published: Friday, October 07, 2005

Amnesty International severely accused Greece and announced that Athens "continually violates" the human rights of minorities, migrants, refugees and Gypsies.

The organization, in the 80-page report published in Athens, emphasized the rights of foreigners and immigrants "are still a grey area and the rights of marginalized populations of the country are violated."

The report reads Greece, which accepts the existence of only the "Muslim minority" in the country, deprives the Turkish and Macedonian minority from "the freedom of expression, religion and organization."

The writer of the report, Olga Demetriu, in a press meeting, said that "this situation in the EU member Greece is worrisome" and that this dark picture covering the last three years in the report "stemmed from arbitrary practices, frequent failure to ensure justice, despite existing laws and even xenophobia."

Amnesty International reported that the Greek Ministry of Interior Affairs evaluates no independent request regarding refuge and systematically rejects them in the first stage and sends back those who ask for refuge to insecure countries. The report also noted that Greece keeps migrants that ask for refuge with no document, including women and children, in an isolated way under very bad circumstances.

According to the report, a 13-year-old migrant girl, who became pregnant as a result of rape, is being kept in prison. The report included a long list of bad treatments and sexual harassment of the security forces towards the migrants.

Legitimate migrants were reportedly also subject to these practices and the criminals were often remained unpunished.

Amnesty International Greece Office Director Gerassimos Kuvaras said nothing changed since the report published in 2002 and focused on police violence. The fact that "the Gypsies and other minorities were victims of direct or direct discrimination" was also stressed in the report.




AI Index: EUR 25/021/2005 (Public)
News Service No: 257
5 October 2005

Embargo Date: 5 October 200509:00GMT

Greece: Human rights violated on the margins of society

Foreigners shot on the border, asylum-seekers detained in metal containers, Roma forcibly evicted from their homes in Athens -- these are some of the examples of consistent pattern of human rights violations, Amnesty International reveals in a report today.

The report, Out of the spotlight: The rights of foreigners and minorities are still a grey area, highlights the failure of the Greek authorities to combat discrimination.

"People living on the margins of society -- asylum-seekers, migrants, Roma and members of other minorities -- are the most likely victims of discrimination in all its forms.Most often, their tormentors are representatives of the state," Olga Demetriou, Amnesty International's researcher on Greece, said.

Amnesty International's report focuses specifically on the failure of the state to comply with international human rights law and standards regarding access to the asylum process, the detention of migrants and protection from discrimination and ill-treatment.

"Thousands of people from Albania, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and elsewhere come to Greece seeking refuge. Some are shot and killed on the border, others are charged with 'illegal entry' straight away and detained without having the chance to apply for refugee protection. The conditions of detention in particular areas of the country do not adhere to international law and standards," Olga Demetriou said.

On the island of Chios the authorities have used a metal container to detain people. They have repeatedly detained others, including pregnant women and children, and failed to protect women and children who were victims of trafficking. Some migrants have been abused by police officers.

Y.S., an Iraqi national of 24, who had been arrested and detained upon entry into Greece stated: "there is no phone here and I have not spoken to my parents since I came here... they do not know whether I am dead or alive... my mother has a heart problem, and I have not been able to phone and let her know... we have not died but I wish I had." He claimed that for the first month of his detention he slept on cardboard and that people in his dormitory room had "insects" on their skin.

The report documents the mechanisms that contribute to this failure and urges the Greek authorities to meet their obligations to respect, protect and fulfil the rights of marginalized people.

Over the last two decades, Greece has rapidly transformed from a traditional emigration country to one attracting migrants, thus marking the border between the global south and the European Union. This rapid transformation has brought to the surface the inadequacies in the country's laws governing migration as well as in practices violating the human rights of refugees. Specifically, the Greece's legal framework fails to adhere to international human rights law and standards in two respects:

  • At no stage of the process does it provide for an independent review of a rejected application on the substance of the claim;
  • It lacks provisions explicitly safeguarding against the risk of refoulement.

Although there has been a sharp increase in the number of people seeking refuge, Greece has some of the lowest asylum application rates in Europe. At the same time it has some of the lowest refugee rates. According to a global overview of refugee populations in 2004 conducted by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Greece has the lowest rates of refugee recognition (0.3 per cent for the first nine months of the year) and granting of protection status (0.9 per cent) out of 148 countries considered.

"The rapid transformation of Greece into a country attracting migrants cannot be an excuse for its authorities to turn their back on the needs of refugees and to ignore their international obligations," Olga Demetriou said.

Living also on the margins of society, Roma and other minority groups bear the brunt of direct or indirect discrimination. In Athens and Patras, Romani residents were forcibly evicted from their houses, taking on much of the financial burden of the resettlement themselves. Roma have also been the target of racist abuse, which in some cases the authorities have tended to overlook. Members of minorities have their rights to freedom of expression, religion and association violated due to gaps in national anti-discrimination legislation, as well as the failure by the Greek authorities to adopt relevant international legislation and standards.

"In the last few years the Greek authorities have admitted that they have not been effective enough in responding to the needs of migrants and minorities. This ineffectiveness is having a negative impact on the way these vulnerable groups are perceived and treated in the country. It is creating a climate for tolerance of racism and xenophobia within the wider Greek population," Olga Demetriou said.

"Everybody in Greece, whether a member of the majority, the minorities or a refugee must enjoy the human rights to which they are entitled. It is the responsibility of the Greek authorities to make sure that this happens."

See: Out of the spotlight: The rights of foreigners and minorities are still a grey area(AI Index: EUR 25/016/2005)

Public Document
For more information please call Amnesty International's press office in London, UK, on +44 20 7413 5566
Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW. web:

For latest human rights news view

British Citizen Was Injured in a Train Travelling from Kardam to Sofia

3 October 2005 | 15:58 | FOCUS News Agency

Provadia. A British citizen was injured by broken glass from the windows of the train travelling from Kardam (Eastern Bulgaria) to Sofia last night at 23:50 when Gypsies threw stones at the train. There are broken windows in the last two carriages of the train.

The injured Roy Satten (53) is registered in the village of Kozloduyci (Dobrich region). The Englishman was travelling in a second-class carriage when the Gypsies from the Roma populated quarter started to throw stones at the train.

Romany Nation's Order of Honor

3. 10. 2005

Alexander N. Bariev, the president of Federal National-Cultural Autonomy of Russian Roma (FNKA) informed Dzeno Association that the Parliament of International Romany Union (IRU) and the Federal National-Cultural Autonomy of Russian Roma constituted the 1-st International Ethnic Order 'Honor and Dignity of the Nation' for Romany people.

IRU and FNKA will confer the Order on personalities who contribute to the preservation of Romany identity, culture and language improving the education and socio-economic conditions of Roma.

The Order is 50x50 mm of size, it is gold made with an 8 star form for a total weight of 45,43 gr. A stylized wheel of Romany van is inserted inside the star and 8 diamonds of 0,04 carats are disseminated on the contact points of the rundles. The inside wheel is divided in two colored parts: blue, symbol of the sky, and green, symbol of the grass. On the reverse side it is written 'For the contribution to the development of Romany culture' with the Order's serial number and names of its institutors. The Order is worn on the breast's left side.

You can obtain more information about the newly established Order from FNKA's president Alexander N. Bariev at (Dzeno Association)

Oh, how lovely. The International Romani Union (or is that now International Roma Union - neither I nor they are anymore sure, I am sure) has found yet another way to waste lova from the E.U. and other government and non-government sources (and they - or better the ERTF who themselves get E.U. and CE funding) call for member organizations to be financially independent from outside funding, especially government funding) on something much more important than actually improving the lot of the poor grassroots Romani People worldwide. Now they have created a medal, a so-called "order" - just like the "Order of Lenin" - and this from sonekai (gold). Jesus wept! The cost of gold for this piece - at current gold price (and that keeps going up and up) - rather horrendous and, in my estimate, will reach around $1000 per single "gong", minimum, inclusive of manufacture and setting up charges.

I entirely agree with the sentiment that any individual who has genuinely achieved something for the Romani People, be he or she Romani or Gohja, should be given some kind of recognition but I am sure this could have been achieved cheaper, without demeaning the gift of a medal, etc., by having a medal of honor struck, like many military medals, from a some good base metal or even from rup (silver) - which is a lot cheaper than sonekai - and presented it to the recipient with a nice certificate and maybe a little useful gift as an additional memento. I am sure any genuine supporter of the Romani Cause to be honored by such a presentation would rather see that done than receive such a medal at such a cost.
On top of that, I believe, there are a lot of questions that should and must be asked in regards to this:

Who is intended to manufacture the "order"? Will it be a Gypsy or a Gohja contractor?

Which among the "Baros" will receive the order and "How much lova will they need to have scammed from Amare Fohki" before they qualify as a recipient of the Order?

… and indeed many more questions could be asked, such as, and this is a very valid one "who will be responsible for nominating the worthy recipients and who will decide who is the most worthy of them to be awarded the order?" In other words: 2what are the criteria"? Does it depend on how much lova one has collected and channeled into the putsies of the Braros?

More questions than answers, I am sure, and I doubt that this will ever be an honest affair judging from the way that everything in the IRU and the Gypsy Industry has been going for the last many decades.

Comment: Bracknell News

Oct 6 2005

OFFICIALS at Bracknell Forest Council have been forced into thinking again over their policy document on the right to roam.

Farmers and landowners pressured the authority into an 11th hour change of mind.

To outsiders - many of whom believe the two-year wait for the document is simply too long - there's something of a farce-like quality to the rumpus.

While the government is keen to allow the public to ramble across the wonderful English countryside, it has failed to give a decent level of protection to landowners who fall victim to "rogue walkers".

And, perhaps more importantly, far too little thought has been given to issuing the police and councils with some really tough powers to deal with the problems of roaming traveller communities.

No wonder landowners feel they are being forgotten in the race to get Britain on its feet and fit for a walk in the fields and woods. Berkshire in particular has been blighted by the lawless behaviour of a few gangs of travellers.

Far from the romantic image of true Romany gypsies, these caravan dwellers appear intent on leaving behind a trail of destruction and wreckage when they move on. In the past few weeks, hardly a piece of open space has been left alone by travellers.

For the landowners, the issue is a simple one. They have to pick up the costly bill for cleaning up - and why should they?

Right to roam is an important and worthy cause - but so are the rights of farmers and those who own the land the rest of us would so dearly love to wander across.


What, I pray has the "right to roam" to do with Gypsies & Travellers (note: I did not say "other Travellers") - the fact is that it has to do absolutely kek with it and is an entirely different issue though the author of this comment now wishes to muddy the waters by joining the two. Yet another attempt to confuse the public as regards to Gypsies & Travellers?
Also what is this "romantic image of true Romany gypsies" (and Gypsies again not spelled properly)? We are not some exhibit in a Zoo that people can come and look at with romantic notions - we are a Race of People - the Romani at least (something that cannot be said for the Irish Travellers who are but what the Americans call Trailer Trash) - and we live differently nowadays than did our forebears. Most of us, in fact, live in houses nowadays and if we travel in trailers then no longer on a permanent basis and also not, I am afraid to say, in the nice wooden vardos of old. Wake up, folks. This is the 21st Century.

Quote for the Week

"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference." - Winston Churchill

'Davies, you're talking !*!@'

Oct 2 2005

Matt Withers, Wales on Sunday

MOTORMOUTH TORY MP David Davies is to register himself as a gypsy in a two-fingered salute to his critics, we can reveal.

The outspoken member for Monmouthshire, who already faces a National Assembly probe after refusing to apologise for outspoken remarks about the travelling community, has sparked further anger with the latest stunt in his campaign against political correctness.

Mr Davies, also AM for Monmouthshire, last month criticised a £48,000 Lottery award for a film project on travellers.

He wrote to the Heritage Lottery Fund asking for the same amount to make a film about the "settled community".

But now, after learning anyone can assign themselves the status of traveller with a simple announcement, he plans to go one step further - and declare himself one.
Mr Davies, whose wife Aliz is Hungarian, said: "I'm going to apply to register myself as a traveller.

"I travel quite a lot more than most of these people, especially to Hungary, and according to the Commission for Racial Equality, you don't even have to travel to call yourself a traveller.

"If I have myself registered as a traveller I can say what I think about the travelling community without any fear. People like Plaid Cymru equality spokeswoman Helen Mary Jones won't be able to call me a racist, because I'll be a traveller myself."

Mr Davies caused controversy after the Heritage Lottery Fund award of £48,800 was given to Hampshire council to make a film "raising awareness of the gypsy community and culture".

In his application to the fund, Mr Davies said: "I should like my film to focus on such issues as the importance which the 'settled community' place on property rights, their rigid adherence to an ancient code which they refer to as 'planning regulations', and the time honoured custom of clearing up one's rubbish."

But his latest plan last night caused the chairman of the Gypsy Council, to describe the Tory as a "cretin".

Charles Smith said Mr Davies was talking "utter s**t", adding: "He's a complete idiot and he doesn't know what he's talking about."

He said: "If he wants to try being a traveller, I'd love him to do it.

"He can sell his house and have nowhere where he can legally live. I dare him to do it, because the man is a complete idiot. This just shows how out of touch the Tories really are.

"Attacking gypsies is seen as acceptable racism, but I dare him to be a gypsy or a traveller for a year, to give up his affluent lifestyle and his privileged position."
The plan was also dismissed by the Commission for Racial Equality, a body which Mr Davies has clashed with before.

Its Welsh director, Chris Myant said: "I think what David is trying to do to highlight the fact that, from his point of view, he feels some ethnic minority groups get unfair privileges.

"Rather than just calling himself a traveller, maybe he needs to do is what some other MPs have done in the past and that is to try and try to be one for a period of time.
"It's not an easy thing. I'm sure if David wants to express what it's like to be a traveller he might well find some travelling family that would welcome him and enable him to see the difficulties they actually face."

The storm is just the latest in a number of controversies that have dogged the 35-year-old's political career.

He quit the Assembly's equal opportunities committee last year, describing it as "a total waste of time" after being criticised by other AMs over his questioning of gay rights organisation Stonewall Cymru. And he was forced by his party to apologise after he described the Commission for Racial Equality as a "recruiting sergeant" for the far-right British National Party.

The furore over his gypsy comments made national news last month, and won him the support of TV pundit Rod Liddle, who said Mr Davies had "done us all a favour".
But Plaid Cymru's equality spokeswoman and arch-critic of Mr Davies, Helen Mary Jones said of his latest comments: "David Davies is yet again acting irresponsibly.
"How can he seriously call himself a traveller when he has a house?"

Ms Jones is already planning to report Mr Davies to the Assembly's standards committee this week for his previous comments on gypsies.

But he brushed off her attack.

He said: "If Helen Mary Jones was that concerned, why was she away from her work at the Assembly last week living it up at the Scottish National Party conference?
"Clearly the issue of discrimination against gypsies takes second place to a good knees-up."

But a spokesman for the Conservative Party said of Mr Davies' latest outburst: "We won't be commenting."


The Hon. Tony Davis MP is talking absolute bullshit and is beginning to make a real ass of himself. He is welcome to become a traveler and someone may even be so kind to donate him a lovely concerted old bus with some lovely psychedelic painting on it or some flower designs. I am sure we can find something suitable for him. What it will not make him, whatever he declares himself to be is a Gypsy because he is not one and can never be one as Gypsies, true Gypsies, are Romani and are a Race of People not a club that one can join. So, therefore, the Right Honorable Member can do what he likes but he may not call himself a Gypsy. It is rather amazing to a poor Gyppo like myself how it comes that there are so many bigots and idiots in the political world, in this country and abroad. It seems that something happens to people when the get into Gohja politics.

Cardiff encourages equality for gypsies


Cardiff Council is taking steps to encourage understanding and equality for its Gypsy and Traveller communities.

The Policy and Economic Development Equality Team, in collaboration with the Gypsy and Traveller Service Provider Network, has arranged a Gypsy and Traveller awareness day at County Hall on October 17.

People from across Cardiff, representing voluntary and private sector groups, are welcome to the open day, which aims to provide insight and information on distinctive ethnic groups.

Councillor Monica Walsh, the Deputy Lord Mayor, will open the event and Chris Myant from the Commission for Racial Equality and Jazz Iheanacho from Race Equality First will share the keynote opening speech.

Councillor Judith Woodman, Executive member for Communities, Housing and Social Justice will chair the event, which will include four workshops, repeated during the day looking at the issues of accommodation, health, education and culture.

Councillor Woodman said: "It is important for people to have the chance to listen and learn about ethnic communities in Cardiff to make sure stereotypes and urban myths are dispelled and to encourage equality for all. This opportunity allows Cardiff Council to show its commitment to the Gypsy and Traveller community whilst at the same time providing helpful information for the city's voluntary and private organisations."


While it is really nice to see that a member from the CRE and someone from Race Equality First will be keynote speakers, how many real Gypsies will be represented there. I mean real Romanichal from this country and not Irish Trailer Trash or New Agers, neither of who qualify under the term "Gypsy", though maybe under Traveller. It must be stressed AGAIN that only those of Romani ancestry qualify as "Gypsy" under the law and under the terms of the Oxford dictionary and are the only ethnic group amongst the "traveling communities". The Irish Travellers, a.k.a. Irish Trailer Trash, and New Agers, a.k.a. Hippies, are not an ethnic group. Ethnicity is not, despite what certain member of the powers that be want to have everyone believe, defined by lifestyle but it is and always has been defined by racial origin or origins of a nature such as the Jews. Under British law only Romani-Gypsy are an ethnic group, and we are only one of three; the other two being the Sikhs and the Jews. Let this be a warning to all those of the Romanichal community in this country who have, mistakenly, in following the false advice of certain do-gooders and self-proclaimed Romani leaders, been calling themselves "Travellers". Once you start doing that you leave yourself wide open to be loosing your identity in the eyes of the law and having it mixed with that of Irish and other Travellers.

MEPs about Roma in Kosovo

Brussels, 30. 9. 2005, 18:58 (ROMEA)

On 28 of September 2005, members of the European Parliament at its session in Strasbourg listened to the statement of the European Commission about the Human rights situation of the Roma in Kosovo.

Dutch MEP Els de Groen from the Green/EFA group at the session stated the following:

The situation of the Roma community in Kosovo during the last six years did not improve. In 1999 since the arrival of the UN mission in Kosovo, the Kosovo Liberation Army, UÇK, has been using torture, rape, targeted killings, arson and burning of Romani houses as methods for the ethnic cleansing against the Roma community from Kosovo. The UN administration did not find any appropriate measures to calm down the Kosovo Albanian majority.

On the contrary, many clear anti-Gipsy cases are neither brought to justice nor even accused. Today, Kosovo is a human rights vacuum. Access of Roma to housing, health care and jobs remains extremely difficult, whereas children stop attending school for security reasons or due to a lack of money. It cannot be a surprise that many "returnees" are selling their property, unwilling to live in fear and indignity.
In wartimes citizens of all ethnic backgrounds flee. When war is over, it is unacceptable that one or two ethnic groups are welcomed as citizens and co-decision-makers, whereas the others find themselves changed into disadvantaged groups, minorities and IDP's. This double standard approach on the basis of ethnic background is the worst scenario for the founding of independent states.

With the final status discussions drawing nearer, the exclusion of Roma from the decision-making process would be one more proof of the lack of respect for these European citizens. The high-level Pan-European consortium of Romani representatives, known as the European Roma Forum, has recently sent a letter to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan urging him to ensure a Roma representation during discussion of matters related to Kosovo's future.

Finally, I would like to draw your attention to our joint EP resolution on Roma in Europe. If we start implementing ourselves the recommendations about Roma participation, we can more easily demand the same from countries in South Eastern Europe.

Martin Demirovski
Office of MEP Ms. Els de Groen
Greens/EFA group

Oh, how lovely, some more talk about the situation of the Romani in Kosovo and some more statements and documents. That will really help. Haven't they realized yet that they have backed the wrong people with their intervention in that for Yugoslav Republic? There was no ethnic cleansing of Kosovo-Albanians happening. It was something that was being concocted by those wishing for a greater Albania and the West fell for it and the West - the E.U. and NATO with their intervention - actually helped in the ethnic cleansing of Kosovo. Cleansing it of Serbs and of Gypsies. Just what the Albanians had hoped would happen. Officers of the Protection Force themselves have been openly admitting this. Now, when are we going to see some actions against the Kosovo Albanian Muslims? We won't; I can guarantee everyone that and while their lives are still in danger Roma, Egyptians and Ashkali are forcibly returned (repatriated) to Kosovo.

Anti-Roma Violence in Pskov

(September 27, 2005) Russia

A previously unknown nationalist group may be behind attacks on Roma (Gypsies) in Pskov, according to a September 26, 2005 report by the Sova Information-Analytical Center. Citing a report by the Petersburg branch of the human rights NGO Memorial, Sova reported that leaflets calling for violence against Roma were circulated in the city, accusing them of drug trafficking and comparing them to spiders. The leaflets were signed by a movement calling itself Free Russia and called for Pskov residents to provide it with lists of names and addresses of Roma living in the city.

On August 30, a Roma named Vladimir Berezovsky was kidnapped and murdered. Afterwards, his family began to receive threats, which police reportedly refused to investigate. However, police are looking into his murder and the September 2005 beating of local Roma Aleksandr Mikhailov. Reportedly, his assailants preceded their attack by asking him his ethnicity and even mentioned the murder of Mr. Berezovsky.

Russia certainly is not a healthy place for Romani People to live. We seem to see one attack of this nature after the other. And what are the representatives of the Romani People doing about this. Kek - nixes - nothing.