There is a need for greater solidarity across Europe to defend growing hostility towards the Roma population, particularly in Eastern Europe and Italy....
Police in the Czech republic fought with a 500-strong mob of fascists with petrol bombs and stones hurled at them after a march by the far-right Workers' Party on what was a public holiday in the Czech Republic.
The European Roma Information Office’s statement on the racist riots in the Czech Republic:
That’s another sign of the need of a European Roma policy
The racist attack occurred today in the Czech Republic is just the last one of a series of anti-Gypsy episodes alarmingly spreading across the European Union in the last months. After Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Italy and Spain, now it is in Litvinov (a northern Czech town) where extreme right groups openly attack Roma communities.
On Monday, more than 500 persons from the extreme right Workers Party tried to assault a Roma neighbourhood but about 1000 policemen blocked their way. This attempt happened during a march whose route was abruptly diverted in order to attack the Roma neighbourhood with stones, batons and petrol bombs. Seven police officers were injured by the clashes.
It is unacceptable that similar events occur in today’s European Union, whose Member
States are supposed to be homeland of human rights and minority protection. That’s why we are calling once again on the European institutions to set up an EU wide strategy for Roma protection and inclusion in the main society. “Nowadays – stated Ivan Ivanov, ERIO’s Executive Director – every country can decide on its own how to deal with the Roma issue, following its own model. But those violent attacks against Roma show once again that it is high time for the European Union to deploy a strong European Roma policy, so every Member State can provide the Roma community with the same guarantees of protection and respect of their fundamental rights. We hope that
the Czech Republic, a country where a solution for the Roma issue is urgently needed, will do its best during its EU presidency in the first semester of 2009 to push for a Europe-wide strategy to counter racism and discrimination against Roma”.
The European Roma Information Office (ERIO) is an international advocacy
organization, which promotes political and public discussion on Roma issues by
providing factual and in-dept information on a range of policy issues to the
European Union institutions, Roma civil organizations, governmental authorities and
intergovernmental bodies. ERIO cooperates with a network of a large number of
organizations and acts to combat racial discrimination and social exclusion through
awareness raising, lobbying and policy development.
For further inquiries, please contact ERIO’s Executive Director: Ivan Ivanov,