Editor’s note: What rich irony that the same month Germany unveils a memorial to Roma and Sinti victims of the Holocaust, the German Interior Minister calls for the re-introduction of visa requirements on asylum seekers from the former Yugoslavia – most of whom, in Germany, are Roma.
Excerpt: “I have a wife and three kids, no work, no money and I live in a shack,” said Seladin, a Roma man in a suburb of the Macedonian capital of Skopje. “It takes some time until they deport you, but they give you a roof over your head, some food, even money. Chances are the winter will pass before I’m back.”
Rights groups say the western alarm is motivated by discrimination, and ignores the Roma plight in the Balkans. An estimated 250,000-500,000 Roma live in Serbia, most of them on the very margins of society.
“They have a right to an examination of their (asylum) application, in which the racist discrimination in their home countries is fully considered,” German refugee rights group Pro Asyl and German Roma groups said in a joint statement.”