NATMINET: CRISS Press Release and Conference Announcement


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Subject: NATMINET: CRISS Press Release and Conference Announcement

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NATMINET: CRISS Press Release and Conference Announcement


Romani CRISS Press Release

Although they do not do very much good for the country's image, there
is not much being done for the homeless Roma. Some Roma families live
in tents, right opposite the Government building. Two tents dominate
the so-called "green area" in Victoriei Square, opposite the imposing
building where the Government of Romania carries out its daily work.
There are signs saying "Hunger strike" hanging on both tents. A
reporter sent to the site by Romani CRISS wanted to see who were those
"living" in that kind of accommodation and what had made them resort
to this desperate gesture.

"We have been evacuated from a nationalized house", a woman told us.
She kindly agreed to speak to us, inviting us into the tent. In the
approximately two square meter-area of the tent live the woman
(Eugenia Simion), her husband and their three children. She told us
that there were several families sharing the two tents: Maria Banica
and her four children, Elena Stan with four children, Tincuta Ioan
with one minor child and Jana Enache with two children.

They said they had been staying in a well-known "circus of famine", in
the immense buildings begun in the communist regime, most of which are
unfinished to this very day, except for the luxurious "Bucharest
Mall". Though during the three month-period they spent in the "circus
of famine" the council would have had time enough to answer their
request in one way or another, the representatives of the City Hall of
Sector 5 did not do it, in spite of the fact that Mrs. Simion says
they have seen the officials of the Council. They even met with the
ex-mayor general of Bucharest, Viorel Lis, and they were promised a
solution to their problem, but all they achieved was that they got
sent from the City Hall of Bucharest to that of Sector 5, and
vice-versa, being told that it was very difficult to obtain housing
given that there are very few council flats.

Though these people would have settled for a one-room apartment, they
did not even get that. They were hoping to erect their tents in front
of the City Hall of Bucharest, near the entrance of Cismigiu Park, so
as to attract the attention of the competent authorities as had done
other Roma who finally managed to obtain housing, However, they were
driven away by the police, who subjected them to rough treatment,
swore at them and called them "gypsies". They had tried to see Mayor
Traian Basescu, but in vain.

Then they moved in front of the Grigore Antipa Museum, from where they
were forced to move on to the open area following the "advice" of
policemen full of good will, who argued that the respective area was
too much exposed to the eyes of foreigners. They have now been staying
in front of the Government offices for a month and a half; during this
time, it was pointed out to them that they should go on strike in
Sector 5, the one where they belong, instead of Sector 1, where they
are now staying.

So far, they have been sent from one office to another. The weather
has been kind to them until now, but what will they do when the cold
rainy season sets in? How will they manage under the cardboard tents
then?
Why can't we at least have a pragmatic policy, since we are unable to
have a sound social policy? This fact should not be ignored by the
authorities who so much wish the European integration. 

The Press Contact Office of the Roma Associations
Cristi Mihalache
Raul Zidaru

--

"The Roma and the Press - analyzed by the Catavencu"

After having monitored the written press for a few years, Romani CRISS
has decided to cooperate with the Monitoring Agency of the Catavencu
Academy, in order to assess the attitude of the press towards the
Roma. The results of the survey will be released in a press conference
held by Romani CRISS and the Monitoring Agency of the Catavencu
Academy. The organization hopes that the press will be interested to
learn the results. 
The press conference will be taking place at the Romani CRISS head
office, 19 Buzesti Street, Sector 1 Bucharest, at 11:00 a.m. on
Friday, September 29, 2000.

Ciprian Necula
Coordinator  
The Press Contact Office of the Roma Associations

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