Roma leaders accuse the Romanian government of holding back the budget for Roma

By • on March 21, 2013

Roma parliamentary representative Nicolae Paun, and the traditional Roma leader Florin Cioaba, the King of Romanian Roma, have accused the Government of not allocating any money for the improvement of the situation of Romania Roma when drafting the 2013 budget. “Although we had very clear promises that a sum from the state budget will be allocated for the implementation of measures related to the improvement of the Roma situation, we noticed that Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta didn’t allocate any for Roma. Since last year, when a new strategy for the improvement of the Roma situation was voted, no information about possible funding sources was offered. We hoped that the government will do its best to provide the funding. Unfortunately, the government doesn’t want to spend money on the new strategy for Roma, the way it didn’t give any for a strategy adopted in 2001”, Paun declared for Romatransitions.

Florin Cioaba

King of Romanian Roma Florin Cioaba shares his unfavorable view on the activity of the Romanian Government. “The Romanian government lied to us again. The strategy sounded good on paper, but nothing can be done without money. It’s like going to the doctor, getting a diagnosis, but not having any money to buy the medicines. Roma issues cannot be solved only with words”, King Cioaba declared for Romatransitions.

The French President changed his strategy for solving the Roma issue

Three years ago, when former French President Nicolas Sarkozy deported Romanian and Bulgarian Roma to their countries of origin Roma, current French president François Hollande was extremely critical. “The policy of the Sarkozy government is irresponsible in that it creates an intolerable insecurity for the families concerned”  Hollande wrote in a letter to the National Human Rights Collective Romeurope. François Hollande was also very critical of Sarkozy’s interventions against Roma and his decision to demolish some illegal Roma camps. Now, the views of French authorities have radically changed. Three weeks ago, during a formal meeting between the Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta and several French officials, French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told Ponta that Roma should be integrated into their home country. “We found that there are situations in which the cohabitation between the Roma and the French raises real problems”, said Ayrault, after meeting with the Romanian PM. “This is why we understand very well that the solution would be the integration of Roma in their country of origin, Romania”.

But after seeing that the Romanian government has given no money to implement measures for the integration of Roma, the leaders of Romanian Roma are wondering how the government is planning to achieve its goals.