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Romania government agrees with proposal to change official naming of Roma people to Tigan / Gypsy

de D.G., transl. V.O.
Luni, 6 decembrie 2010, 15:12 English | Top News

The Romanian Government agrees with a parliamentary initiative to change the official naming of people belonging to the Roma ethnic group from "Rom" to "Tigan" ("Gypsy"). The Government's position is based on recommendations made by the Romanian Academy and on the fact that the term is used in a majority of EU member states, according to ministerial sources quoted by news agency Mediafax on December 2.

Civic organisations organized a protest at the Government HQ in Bucharest on Tuesday to show their disapproval to change the official naming of "Rom" into "Tigan".

Democratic Liberal (PDL) MP Silviu Prigoana has submitted a legislative initiative to change the naming, and the Government was expected to issue an opinion on it, according to procedures.

The initiative was registered in the Senate in September. At the time, President Traian Basescu said for his part that when the term of Tigan/"Gypsy" was changed into "Rom" in official references to the Roma people, the decision was wrong as Europeans were confusing the terms of Romanians and Roma.

The Foreign Ministry has issued a note that the initiative would not help reaching the official purpose of the move, that is, to end confusion generated internationally by the resemblance of the name of Romania and the Romanian nation on one hand and of the Roma people on the other hand. The confusion among foreign citizens would not be eliminated with the replacement of the term of "Rom" in Romania, as such a decision by Romanian authorities would not have effects on the territory of other countries - so foreign citizens would continue to use the term corresponding to that currently used in the Romanian language (for example: "Roma" in English, "les Romes" in French), according to the Foreign Ministry.

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