Posted by on 20 Feb 2013. Filed under Current Affairs, Top news. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

PM Wants International Support for Roma Boarding Schools

Speaking to a group of students in Bratislava yesterday, Prime Minister Robert Fico made his intentions clear in respect of the problems of ethnic Roma in Slovakia, reiterating his earlier desire to get underprivileged Roma children into boarding schools.

Roma shanty settlements can be found all over the country

Fico underlined the importance of education in changing the social situation of many Roma in the country, adding that the children should be taught a different way of life with school attendance and better awareness of hygiene. On the subject of putting deprived Roma children into boarding schools, Fico noted that this would require support from the international community, because that approach would be strongly attacked by human rights organisations.

The PM referred to the situation in Slovakia as “disastrous”, while criticising the simplicity with which certain human rights activists see the problem, adding that some basically “parasite” on it. The Roma population in Slovakia is estimated to be around 300,000- 400,000 but no reliable statistics are available. According to MP Igor Matovic from the OLaNO party, Slovakia has 450,000 Roma, which is approximately 1 in 10 citizens (compared to the likes of Poland, which Matovic claims has just 15,000 Roma, meaning 1 in 2,600 citizens).

14 Comments for “PM Wants International Support for Roma Boarding Schools”

  1. Dave C.

    Interesting how NGOs that highlight Slovakia’s continuing breach of not only its own but international law with regard to the treatment of the Roma get labelled as “parasites” by BnM. No doubt he feels the same way about UNESCO, WHO, The EU Commission and the ECHR but does not have the bottle to say so. All these groups are wrong, haven’t got a clue according to Donowt …..mmmmm……. I know who I believe!

    • George M

      Oh gosh, yet another hyperbolic DC bolt from the sky ….I wonder what Smug Ale thinks of all this ? …someone wake him up from his afternoon nap in the chair.

      BTW, Cowpat seems very forum quiet these days ? ….Did any one read that his wife shot him through the bathroom door several times, believing he was a home burglar?

  2. david

    Dave C
    Boarding school and concentration camp in the same sentence?
    Trivializes the Treblinka, Auschwitz victims and survivors.
    Think before you write online.

    • James

      Dave C’s concentration camp references are hyperbolic, so to that extent it’s his fault you’re not seeing the wood for the trees.

      Thing is though, Dave C is right in the essentials ; right about the conditions the Roma live in and how they’re treated in Slovakia, right about this ridiculous proposal of Fico’s.

      Even if you take Fico’s intentions at face-value – and I reckon you need the innocence of a new-born lamb to do that – this idea exposes an absolutely fundamental misunderstanding of reality. Roma families tend to distrust attempts by ‘outsiders’ to interfere in any way with the raising of their children. These ‘boarding-schools’ would be seen as a means to forced kidnap. And that’s not hyperbole, it’s reality.

      This whole sorry situation can only be solved by building trust slowly, That’ll take decades, probably centuries, and a hell of a lot of effort. A good place to start might be to stop dismissing Amnesty and other NGOs as ‘parasites’ and start taking a bit of responsibility.

      • George M

        Oh Yawn, Jim is using the big words again and not actually understanding the meaning …sadly this huge plank is teaching our young kids I understand ?

        Hyperbolic means a overstatement or plausible exaggeration …I dont think what DC said was any overstatement or plausible exaggeration, it is a fact …

        The term concentration camp ( yes a British invention ) means as DC states, any facility where a particular ethnic, religious, group or peoples indentified by the state as undesirable are housed/ kept. I agree, so is not a `boarding school` only for Roma children not a concentration of people from the same ethnic group?

        BTW, Jim, perhaps you should stick to the football grass reporting and leave the intellectual hyperbolic discussion to the educated of the group . Just a thought ?

        • alec hodges

          From your last sentence, can we take is as said that you won’t be contributing to the intellectual discussions anymore then George. Just a thought

          • George M

            Smug, You never really got over the fact I have a property portfolio, a home in Italy, Austria and Slowvakia, drive a Porsche and have the touch of a young woman, and call you a toad, now have you ?

            So off you go, …….back to the nap chair old timer .

          • James

            When you have to look up the words other people use in a dictionary, it’s not the brightest idea to then go insulting their intelligence.

            Still, George is making progress – I hear he finished a jigsaw puzzle the other day. It only took him 18 months even though it said ’2-3 years’ on the box…

          • George M

            Oh Jim, is that not what a dictionary is for ? Checking the word and the exact meaning? Clearly you missed the meaning and so perhaps you should try it yourself next time, before you go all bareback and get it so totally wrong ….?

            Oh yes, and where I came here with my puzzles and started my several business with my own money, …you were employed and paid by my paid huge taxes . Lets carry on talking about your alleged intelligence, whilst discussing my current wealth?

            BTW, How is the Union strike going these days ??

    • Dave C.

      david

      I would never trivialise the suffering and horrors perpetrated at those places but being a Yorkie I call them by what they were – extermination camps.
      The term concentration camp ( a British invention I am ashamed to say ) means any facility where a particular ethnic, religious, group or peoples indentified by the state as undesirable are housed/ kept. So is not a boarding school only for Roma children not a concentration of people from the same ethnic group? It is also fair to assume that these “schools” will be located well away from habitation and will have quite strict security – fences? dogs? guards? It strikes me that this idea has more to do with wonga than a genuine desire to help the Roma. No doubt mountains of EU cash will be asked for to pay for the previously worthless land, the very expensive buildings and the legions of highly paid state nonjobs for lilywhites to administer the system. The bonus for BnM is that he can then stop all child benefits to the parents, a move that will be very popular, and claim that this will force the adult Roma to seek employment – doing what will have to be his secret!

  3. Danny

    lol…dave..”pull the plug on this country”. The international communities.and the likes of Amnesty international..are all a bunch of hypocrites. All their finger pointing to Slovakia in regards to their treatment of of Romas over the years if not decades. I can recall when they sent airplanes (3 or 4)to jolly good old england(who would want to live their anyways) to start a new life there on the taxpayers dime..guess what? they sent them back..because deep down inside they knew the consequeces. People think the Czechs are more sophisticated and tolerant to human rights issues than Slovaks. Then, popular poet president Havel loaded up 4 plane loads of romas and sent them here to Canada Toronto (a decade or more ago) on the taxpayers dime with gaurentees not to return..guess what..they were sent back. It offended honest, hardworking hungarian, bulgarian and east european immigrants here..which leaders adviced the Canadian gov’t that they do not know what their getting into. Recently Immigration miinster Kenny announced changes and will implement visas for hungarians , romanians , bulgarians..czechs already have it..but slovaks don’t..because of the asylum rate..99.9 percent Romas. Let the Slovaks deal with theses issues..and butt out. Police escorts of school buses so the kids stay in school..new city built units for them to live in..all but looted, and ransacked..no appreciation from them..Time for fico to give the fingure to these international out cry organizations, like Meciar did to Cristopher and Albreight over the bridge. NIMBY..not in my back yard..right Dave

    • George M

      I bet you wipe you bum with nettles Dan …geeeeeeeeZ !

    • Dave C.

      Danny – Your post highlights the truth about the perception of the Roma problem in the central European countries. BnM and others would like no better solution that exporting all the Roma en-mass to somewhere else and that is the problem. I agree that it is an issue the Slovaks should sort out but there has been no effort here in the past 70 years to address the problems and many past governments have actually made the situation worse with similar popularist policies. Since joining the EU, although a mountain of fund has been made available, Slovakia has done little and has achieved no tangible improvements for the Roma community. Your own countrymen gave up and went home after years of obstruction at every level of the Slovak political system convinced that Slovakia did not want to deal with the issue. The much publicised destruction of public housing by the Roma is an issue I have expounded on before. Where were the paid public officials on day one of the damage? a question that no one can answer. Police escorts for kids going to school – good idea but would you send your kids to a school where they are branded educationally sub-normal, segregated from the general population, obliged to eat in separate premises, use different toilets and washrooms and by subjected to physical and mental abuse from the teaching staff? – I think not! As for the actions of AI and other NGO’s, you should be glad that they are pointing the finger. They may be howling at the moon but at least they highlight some of the worse excesses of the current situation.

  4. Dave C.

    Is this guy for real? Has he completely lost his grasp on reality? Faced with ever growing international condemnation of current segregation policies in education he now proposes total segregation of Roma children into what can only be described as concentration camps. Of all the issues facing many of the Roma he plays the ever popular hygiene card, no doubt to sway the ever tollerant Slovak public to his vision of the future. FYI Bobby, there is no point teaching young kids to be clean at your “special schools” if, when they get home they still don’t have sanitation or running water and home is a hovel on the edge of some one horse village with no amenities. A typical Slowvak solution from a typical Slowvak and he’s right, the international community will not be happy with this half baked, knee jerk, simplistic, popularist, non-starter of an idea. Time someone pulled the plug on this country, big time!

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