Hindus and Jews want resignation of Romania minister found guilty of Roma discriminatory remarks

December 1st, 2010 - 5:40 pm ICT by ANI  

Nevada (US), Dec 1 (ANI): Romania’s Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi has been reportedly found guilty of discriminatory remarks about Roma (Gypsy) population by country’s anti-discrimination board and now Hindus and Jews want him to resign.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed; and Rabbi Jonathan B. Freirich, prominent Jewish leader in Nevada and California in USA; in a statement issued in Nevada today, said that Baconschi had no moral standing to continue in the government after making such disparaging remarks about a major group of the population.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, and Rabbi Freirich, although applauded the Board for declaring Baconschi guilty but criticized it for letting him go just with a mild recommendation instead of a fine or at least warning. How a foreign minister could represent a country when he had such a prejudiced opinion about a large ethnic group of its population, they asked.

Rajan Zed and Jonathan Freirich asked for European Union intervention if Baconschi did not resign. They said that they did not expect action from Romania President Traian Basescu, who reportedly himself made some ‘racist’ remarks about Roma in the recent past during his Slovenia visit, blaming them for making a living on stealing and not willing to work, thus stigmatizing the entire Roma community. It seemed like an attempt by Romania’s ruling politicians to demonize the already most prejudiced against community in Europe and eternalizing negative stereotyping of them, instead of showing strong political will to integrate them.

In its annual “Human Rights Report” about Romania issued in the recent past, US Department of State said: “Roma faced persistent poverty and had poor access to government services, few employment opportunities, high rates of school attrition, inadequate health care, and pervasive discrimination.”

Europe’s most persecuted and discriminated community, Roma were reportedly encountering apartheid conditions in Europe. Roma reportedly regularly faced social exclusion, racism, substandard education, hostility, joblessness, rampant illness, inadequate housing, lower life expectancy, unrest, living on desperate margins, stereotypes, mistrust, rights violations, discrimination, Zed and Freirich pointed out.

Romania’s Roma community is said to be the biggest in Europe and according to reports, between 1.8 and 2.5 million Roma live in Romania and about 75 per cent live in poverty. (ANI)

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