Bulgarian Nationalists Stage Unorthodox Protest against Roma Squatter Ghettos

Society | February 21, 2011, Monday // 20:56|  views

The VMRO party build a makeshift structure before the government office in downtown Sofia in order to protest against illegal Roma squatter ghettos. Photo by BGNES

Bulgarian nationalist party VMRO-BND has come up with an unorthodox way of protesting against illegal ghettos erected by Roma squatters in Sofia and elswhere in the country.

On Monday, the VMRO party built a makeshift building of 6 square meters right in front of the building of the Council of Minsiters in protest specifically against the failure of the state institutions to destroy the illegal ghetto built by Roma squatters in the Orlandovtsi quarter in Sofia.

The VMRO activists threatened they will sue the government if the police remove what they styled a "gypsy-type shed" since it has failed to take measures against similar structure created by Roma squatters.

The protest is designed to demonstrate that the Bulgarian government is tolerating the construction of illegal ghettos all over the country, and the VMRO activists state that the removal of their makeshift building would mean the existence of double standards in which the government does not dare tackle the illegal settlements of the Roma.

The new wooden makeshift building in downtown Sofia has a bed, a chair, a table, a toilet bowl, a laundry drying line, and an electricity consumption meter.

Two 28-year-old Roma – Ivaylo and Mariyana – have agreed to settle in the new building, and have even stated that their new home has everything needed.

VMRO deputy head Angel Dzhambazki declared that it should not be a problem for them to live in the makeshift building before the government office since the entire country is dotted with illegal Roma ghettos.

"There is a decision to remove the Roma ghetto in the Batalova Vodenitsa in Sofia, which is a very big and problematic Roma ghetto. The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the ruling of the Bulgarian court against the ghetto must not be implemented until accommodation is found for its residents. This is what we demand as well – until they find accommodation for us, we are going to keep this building here," Dzhambazki said.

In 2010, illegal settlements of Bulgarian and Romanian Roma in France moved the Sarkozy administration to expel thousands of them back to their home countries, declared them a public safety hazard, in a much controversial campaign.

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Tags: VMRO, VMRO-BND, Roma, squatters, Roma ghetto, Batalova Mahala, nationalists


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