Declaration of board of directors and the board of trustees of the ethecon Foundation from 19 March 2011
Stop banishment of the Romany people!
Discrimination, banishment and worse things have a bad tradition in Europe
They live in sardonic poverty. On meadows full of garbage, in ankle-deep mud, in hovels which resemble holes. The Romany people, who travelled towards west, hoping to find a humane life. When they arrived in the wealthy Western European industrial nations, they were treated worse than animals.
According to estimations, ten million Romanies live in Europe. About three million of them live in Bulgaria and Romania. Since 2007 these two countries have been members of the European Union. So those Romanies have the right to live in other European countries. Yet they are discriminated, racially haunted and deported.
In September 2010 for instance, in Milan, Italy, temporary accommodations have been torn down; in Rome it is planned to tear down 200 “illegal estates” with 2.000 inhabitants. In 2010 in France thousands of Romanies were put into camps and deported illegally to Bulgaria and Romania. Even in the Scandinavian countries, which are said to be tolerant, the Romany people are haunted; begging Romanies are deported, a tent camp in Helsinki has been cleared. In Slovenia, commonly regarded as best example with respect to Romany integration, there have been brutal haunts by the Slovenian mob.
And even worse: in some central and Eastern European countries Romanies are threatened by death. In Hungary 8 persons died. In a suburb of Michalovce, a city in Eastern Slovakia, citizens built a wall of 500 m length as a boundary from a Romany estate.
Indignation about this inhuman attitude is large. The UN committee for the abolishment of discrimination has demanded to no longer deport groups of Romany people. It is worried about the fact, that the Romanies are sent back to their home country “on a collective basis”, instead of looking into the circumstances of each single case. In particular “political speeches of discriminating nature” are alarming. According to the UN committee at the same time “actions and demonstrations with racist or xenophobic character” were seen. The “collective deportation” of Romanies was unacceptable and “long term solutions” had to be created, so the committee’s demand.
EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding is finding: “I am horrified about the impression that people would only be expelled from the country, because they are an ethnic minority. I did not believe that we have to experience this once more after Second World War.” Different foreign media as well as the bishop of Toulouse drew a bow from the latest deportations of Roma to the anti-Jewish raids under the collaboration empery of Vichy during Second World War.
Though the protests of the UN, EU and other official bodies against persecution of the Roma through European governments are appreciated, the causes of these racist failures still remain untouched. Romanies rank among the poorest of the poor in Europe. Emigration from the ghettos of their home country to whichever European country promises future and prospect for them. But the wealthier countries of Europe don’t want to share. Their commitment to a “unified Europe” is degenerating to a lie. They seal themselves off from the streams of poor with might and main. With breach of the inner-European right. Racist hunt suits them just fine.
ethecon – Foundation Ethics & Economics advocates for the basic ethic-human principles; for the friendship between nations, for a solidary cooperation of the races. Racism, discrimination and ethnic persecution cannot be reconciled with that.
The ethecon Foundation is joining the protests against deportation of the Romany people and supports corresponding actions. A conversion of the social order is necessary, away from the capitalistic exploitation logic, culminating in an economy, where the human being comes before profit. The primacy of profit has to be taken over by the dominion of solidarity and nations friendship. The persecution of the Romany people must come to an end, banishment has to be stopped.
Berlin, 19 March 2011