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President Basescu to Romanian gypsies in Italy: You are not alone! We support you!

de Radu Rizea
Joi, 31 iulie 2008, 15:10 English | Regional Europe

President Traian Basescu declared that the Romanian authorities will not abandon the Roma minority immigrants in Italy and Spain. The statement of the head of state was made in a nomad gypsies camp in the outskirts of Rome. Basescu said that the Romanians in Italy, regardless their ethnicity, were not abandoned by the Romanian authorities and asked the immigrants to respect the Italian law. "Let's behave in an European manner", demanded Basescu.

The Romanian president also said that the problem of gypsies in Italy will be solved along with the Italian authorities. On the other hand, Basescu asked the local authorities to respect the rights of all EU citizens and to refrain from acting in a discriminatory manner.

The head of state says he felt "encouraged" by the things he saw in the camp and asked the gypsies to send their children to school: "The ethnic group has no other chance for the future generation than to send the kids to school. Without education, the entire ethnic group is sacrificed", said Basescu during his visit.

The president says he understands why the people preferred to leave Romania and promised that, in a couple of years, wages will reach 1,000 euro in Romania as well.

Basescu will meet the head of the Italian Government, Silvio Berlusconi, to discuss mutual and international interest manners, in a time when the presence of Roma immigrants in Italy raised a series of serious human rights controversies.

"Romania will protect its citizens anywhere in the world, but will not protect offenders", said president Traian Basescu, after a press conference held along with the Italian head of Government, Silvio Berlusconi. Basescu admitted his "partial failure to integrate the Roma minority in the Romanian society". "Fingerprinting the minors is a measure we need to take so that the kids would be able to go to school, said Berlusconi", who added that the opposition felt towards foreigners comes from the fact that 40% of all people in jail in Italy are immigrants.

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