RROMA, TRAVELLERS ACROSS EUROPE


‘Roma people are condemned to vagrancy’ (Turine, 2004). We are now talking Roma who come from Eastern Europe, especially Romania, Hungary, and Bulgaria, to go to Western Europe. They have got the feeling of an economic El-Dorado in the West, or a better life, in the sense of freedom and integration, according to Ron Stauber in ‘The Roma: a minority in Europe’ (2007). Therefore, they are the biggest minority trans-national in Europe (LeMonde.fr, 2010). They faced problems of integration in Western Europe, and problems of segregation in Eastern Europe. In Europe, there are 12 million of Roma; 5 million of them are travelling across borders (Henriette Asseo, 2010) as they are considered as stateless people.
Some of them continue to live their nomad life, but many of them have adopted a sedentary system because of economic reasons. Moreover, in Eastern Europe, they often live in marginal communities with high level of unemployment. In 2008, the Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs declared ‘I want to buy a part of the desert to put every Roma in it’. The integration level of them is variable, for example the Romanian government recognized only 500 000 Roma, even if they are 2, 5 million in this country. In fact every country of oriental Europe admit they have got some problems with the integration of Roma people, and even if they are trying at a political level to resolve it; for example, in 2005 seven countries of the ex-URSS declared ‘the decade of Roma’s integration’ to ameliorate the socio-economic conditions of the Roma minority, which have been adopted by in 2008 in the European Parliament- they still continue to leave those countries. Furthermore, Hungarian society, including the liberal left, must recognize that it has a problem of cohabitation with the Roma minority and the rise of the Jobbik (far-right party) emphasizes the rejection and proposed to create a special police unity Anti-Roma.
In France, each year 250 000 people from every part of the world arrived illegally, 15 000 were Roma. Now they are 500 000 Roma’s in France, who live in camps (Minister of Immigration, 2010). According to the magazine ‘Courrier International’ (number 997) ‘No path helps to leave ghetto-village’, effectively, right words were used. When they arrived in the Country of the Human Rights, they gathered in improvised villages in suburbs, for example in ‘Seine-Saint-Denis’ near the’ Stade de France’. In fact 85-90% of Roma’s who live in France are sedentary, because those who left Eastern Europe were already in houses for generations (Minister of Immigration, 2010). An imbalance was created between French people and them. The result is that they cannot afford to have a legal job, forcing illegal ways to provide for one’s family, and everyone is involved. Begging for women and children, prostitution for young girls and boys (for example in front of the ‘Gare du Nord’ in Paris) traffic and thefts for everyone are their jobs. To make money, they developed a very well-organized structure, like a business society. Obviously, those practices are not well appreciated in France, and encouraged the development of racism and segregation. Furthermore the fact to have neighbours who spend their life in insalubrity and who do not speak the same language, slow down friendship.

Gautier Dubois

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