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"Beggar" - Swiss inscription on Romanian Gypsies' passports

de Radu Rizea
Vineri, 1 mai 2009, 16:05 English | Regional Europe

Swiss authorities launched an investigation to find out which local official wrote the term "beggar" on the passports of several Roma ethnics, the website informs. "It is a felony. These persons are already persecuted in their home countries. Imagine what they might suffer upon their return", said the president of the Messemrom association, Monica Bonfanti.

"We are currently running an investigation in order to find out whether it is the fault of our agents or not", said Bonfanti, adding that agents that made such mistakes will suffer disciplinary consequences".

Swiss electors accepted in February, following a national referendum, to renew the right to free movement agreement with the European Union and to expand it to Romanians and Bulgarians. 59.6% of the electors were in favor of renewing the agreement.

The referendum campaign was marked by xenophobia accusations, after the UDC political formation used posters showing white (Swiss) and black (Roma) sheep, as well as posters in which foreign crows attack Switzerland.

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