“Neue Zürcher Zeitung”: The Sad Lives of Bulgarian Gypsies

Written by on December 31, 2016 in Bulgaria, Latest, Minorities & Justice - No comments

The Swiss daily “Neue Zürcher Zeitung” has published a very interesting article on the appalling situation of Roma in Bulgaria. The author interviewed integrated Roma, including a micro-biologist from Sliven and another Bulgarian Roma, who is a scientist in Germany.

In the article, the author describes how life for the Roma was a lot better in Socialist Bulgaria, when that minority was almost as educated as other Bulgarians. Then, in the 1990s, the situation deteriorated . Nowadays, things are just scandalous. Many Roma do not speak Bulgarian, many are not educated at all, there are far too many teenage pregnancies, more than 80 percent are jobless, and the discrimination is another huge problem.

In spite of billions, which were coming in from the West, nothing has improved. The opposite seems to be the case.

The Swiss paper describes the situation in Nadezhda, a Roma slum in Sliven, where many children do not wear shoes even in winter, where the average family lives in one cold room and where infant mortality is high.

And the three main reasons for the scandalous situation are being depicted: The unwillingness of Eastern European states, including Bulgaria, to actually fight the discrimination against the Roma, along with the segregation, is one of them. The second main reason, according to the article, is a lack of courage in Western countries, which should send aid money under certain conditions only, in order to increase the pressure. The third reason is the reactionary, rigid society structure inside Roma slums, which is preventing any progress.

The “Neue Zürcher Zeitung” delivered the most interesting article (in German) on the subject in quite a while.

By Imanuel Marcus

Photo by Imanuel Marcus

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