For Europe’s Roma, Racism Gets Worse in Tough Economic Times

Posted: August 22, 2013 in Euro, Human Rights, News
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On Aug. 2, the sun blazed down on long lines of thousands of impoverished Roma in the town of Ozd, in northeastern Hungary, as they waited for water. Temperatures were soaring, but Mayor Pal Furjes had accused locals of wasting the free water supply and shut down public pumps on which the community depended. After several days, the Hungarian government intervened, ordering Furjes to restore water to the slums where many Roma live without electricity.

The episode was just the latest instance of discrimination faced by Roma communities in Europe. An ethnic group that can trace its origins back to ancient migrations from India, the Roma live primarily in Eastern and Central Europe and are sometimes known pejoratively as “gypsies.” Long marginalized, Roma often lack education and skills, and are more likely to be unemployed, live in poverty and suffer from poor health than others in their respective countries. They are…

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