Sofia Echo


Another Roma ghetto in Sofia to be demolished

Author: The Sofia Echo staff Date: Wed, Jul 14 2010 30 Comments, 7012 Views
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Another Roma ghetto in Bulgaria is facing demolition. Sofia authorities have warned the inhabitants of the Malinova Dolina borough ghetto that they have 30 days (August 15) to clear out or be driven out, Bulgarian television channel bTV said on July 14 2010.

"The Roma will be evicted by force and their shelters will be flattened," bTV said.

The campsite is on a meadow under a bridge that passes over the Sofia Ring Road. It is near to people who live in Berkovitsa, Lom, and Loukovit while the entire area is now full of roaming stray dogs because of the campsite.

Last week, a nine-year-old child was taken to Pirogov hospital in Sofia and is still in critical condition after it was viciously attacked by a pack of stray dogs, which have been associated with the Roma campsite, the report said.

"What are you doing here, where do you work," a bTV reporter asked one of the Roma people at the site.

"At the rubbish bins"

"How could you bring a six-month-old child to such squalor?"

"It will grow up," said the Roma, who was not identified in the report.

"So how do you imagine your life here then?"

"Just like that."

In April 2010, a Roma ghetto in the Sofia borough of Vrubnitsa was razed as part of a "spring clean-up operation" in the capital.

The ghetto, consisting of barracks, sheds and other illegal constructions, is on municipal land. Residents of Vrubnitsa signed a petition in January 2010 demanding that the Roma be expelled from the site. The ghetto was flattened at the cost of 40 000 leva, paid from the public purse.

On January 14 2010, Bourgas municipality ordered a Roma ghetto in the city's Slaveikov borough demolished.

The Roma site, which at the time consisted of about 20 shacks and other "shelters", was near a major railway junction. Bulldozers arrived and flattened the buildings in the perimeter while the Roma were expelled.

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  • Second coming
    • Anonymous
      Vicky, Chicago Rating:
      #30 19, 32, Fri, Feb 18 2011

      Carmel, you are delusional. I lived in the same neighborhood with gypsis in communist time and they were given apartments big ones. walked around NAKED! No one dared to challenge them because they are vicious and uncivilized like out of the jungle. I have seen nothing good or ever heard anything good, because their lifestyle determines their fate, living in trash.
      I don't see a solution, because the Gypsis tehmselves DO NOT want to be helped. They just want to be left alone to live in filth, unfortunatelly.

    • Anonymous
      Alice Dunn Rating:
      #29 03, 07, Mon, Sep 06 2010

      I'm so glad we have intelligent and inspiring people like Carmel in this world

    • Anonymous
      practical Rating:
      #28 11, 31, Fri, Aug 20 2010

      Send them to Bradford in the UK - they would integrate well there!

    • Anonymous
      Masku Rating:
      #27 00, 51, Mon, Aug 16 2010

      Shocking treatment of the gypsies towards THEMSELVES: buying people, selling their own children as sex slaves or for organ transplants, torturing and exploiting their children for making profit, cutting legs and arms of their children for begging, cutting fingers of their children and leaving only index and middle finger so they can pick pockets more easily... Should I continue? The list is way too long. I haven't heard of Bulgarian people selling gypsies or their children, so the worst treatment towards gypsies originates from themselves - they are the ones doing the worst crimes towards themselves.

    • Anonymous
      Masku Rating:
      #26 00, 45, Mon, Aug 16 2010

      Pushing them to poverty?? Hahaha! What a joke! So where do they take the 10 000-20 000 leva (5000-10 000 euro) to buy brides from? I don't have that kind of money to spend bying a woman, and neither have most of you here, so wake up! Poor my ass! Watch how much money they spend on BUYING women: youtube dot com/watch?v=X4vA5hp5Uag

    • Anonymous neutral
      #25 05, 48, Sat, Jul 17 2010

      Joseph - so true. Italy has a shocking history of treatment (continuing in the present day) of Roma people, but same in France, etc.

      And yes, education is a key to change!

    • Anonymous
      Joseph Rating:
      #24 03, 39, Sat, Jul 17 2010

      The Roma/Gypsy problem is not just a Bulgarian problem, but a European problem. I get tired of western Europeans acting as if the problem doesn't apply to them, because they are equally racist towards Gypsies in Western Europe.

      I don't have any great answers, except real education is the key to success for anyone in poverty. And, there has to be real education. The Roma schools in Bulgaria and inner city schools in the US have the same problem in that neither provide the education needed to go on and be successful.


      Read the full comment

    • Anonymous neutral
      #23 07, 03, Fri, Jul 16 2010

      @ Ben-G, sorry you have such a sour attitude. I don't know you, but I don't think it's fair to just expect because you can do something that others can do it too. Most obvious thing here is that people are not equal - not in Bg, not around the world. I read a good article this morning, this is a quote (in the article) from a blog titled “Absence of Rationality in Discussions about the Peaceful Co-existence of the Roma in Our Society“:
      "Such discussions point at a deficiency of the members of the Roma community, which [...]

      Read the full comment they inaccurately call inadaptibility. What is talked about is careless attitude toward housing (on the part of the Roma), non-payment of rent, aggressive behavior of Roma children, unwillingness to learn or work, abuse of social benefits and other such matters. . . An unfortunate consequence is that the nature of this type of a discussion and, in general, such commonly and almost uniformly held societal views have a negative effect not only on a relatively small group of Roma, but on the entire society. . . The public’s hatred expressed quite clearly in statistical data is aimed against the entire Roma community, even though it is clear that it should only concern the part which is discreditable, if we at all accept such discredibility exists. And this group is much smaller than the entire Roma community."

      I urge you to have a read. It reminds us of the inaccurate judgement we make when we categorise and generalise people . Most Roma (in the Czech) as the article points out are not living in poverty or in ghettos, as the one about to be demolished in the article we are all responding to. Many Roma people are well-educated, professionals in their fields, activists, hard-working and successful people. You call them Roma too - so should we demolish their lives as well just because they are Roma. Would you even know they are Roma if they were working beside you in an office as you comment on this article? I strongly urge you and others (Cosmos) to re-think your attitudes. I think one day you will find that you are a minority in the way you perceive others and the society around you.

    • Anonymous
      georg peter Rating:
      #22 21, 57, Thu, Jul 15 2010

      They are GYPSIES not "roma", a stupid and false name for a tribe of indian nomads!!!

    • Anonymous
      Cosmos Rating:
      #21 18, 44, Thu, Jul 15 2010

      Do not ship them to the UK we have enough problems with unemployment and scroungers and I might add that most of the scroungers are British that abuse there own system.

      Christine you do need to go to school to be told that it is bad to live on a rubbish dump,these Roma do not want an education or a job they want to be left alone to beg steal and turn every place they go into a slum why should the honest hardworking Bulgaria family even try to help when the Roma do not want [...]

      Read the full comment it.

      As far as the dogs are concerned when are the Bulgaria people going to protect there children from these attacks we read nearly every week about the same thing and yet it just goes on and on my heart goes out to the child and hope she makes a full recovery.

      In the meantime I fully support the goverment in there plan to demolish this slum.

    • Anonymous
      Ben-G Rating:
      #20 17, 16, Thu, Jul 15 2010

      @ Carmel - you have been to Bulgaria twice? Of course you made Roma friends, I also did when I arrived...they were nice until my house was emptied ;)
      Now, the camps should be demolished, no doubt about it, if I can work and pay rent at the same time, so can a roma ;)
      They should be shipped out of BG and I can not think of a better place to send them than UK!! HAPPY DAYS!

    • Anonymous
      Dan Rating:
      #19 14, 09, Thu, Jul 15 2010

      @vv 'criticzing bulgaria is anti Slavism!'

      This is a very unhealthy attitude. Criticism is healthy. It keeps people honest and moving to be more efficient and effective.

    • Anonymous
      roma people? Rating:
      #18 13, 47, Thu, Jul 15 2010

      if roma are people why don't they want to act as such? I know about a roma family moving in a flat on the second floor, first thing they did was burn the wooden floor because it was bad for the hors's feet. Does that answer any questions?

    • Anonymous
      karen lovell Rating:
      #17 13, 09, Thu, Jul 15 2010

      Hmm, emotive issue as always. It's a vicious circle this: if you exclude and discriminate against a part of a society and make them uneducated, unemployable etc they are going to steal to provide for themselves and their families, then, the "moral majority" can claim that that section of society - in this case the Roma, are thieves and uneducated so have that as an excuse not to employ/tolerate them.And round and round it goes.

      So what happens next? In Slovakia and a few other eastern European countries conflicts are regularly being reported between neo-nationalist groups [...]

      Read the full comment and Roma,there was a documentary recently on CNN about a Roma family that were firebombed at their house, leaving their 4 year old in need of extensive plastic surgery...there is something radically wrong (in my opinion) with anyone who thinks that attacking a family in their own home and causing injury to a child like that is acceptable simply because these people are of another "clan" to the agressors. This is tribalism at it's absolute worst.

      I would hate to see the discrimination in Bulgaria escalate to that level.

      I would LIKE to see an acceptance by the Bulgarian government that the Roma "problem" is one that needs a decent program to integrate the Roma in as much as education, health etc are concerned.Roma in Bulgaria are set to be the majority population in 20 years time - a majority population that will by then have evolved on a system of meagre state handouts, theft and lack of even the most basic education...

      Many Bulgarians sneer about the Roma claiming social benefits - OK, get the able bodied to do community work in order to earn that benefit, both the ethnic Bulgarians AND the Roma, and start by cleaning up the rubbish everywhere.

      Instead of bemoaning the problem, find a solution, a decent and workable solution. It's not as if Bulgaria is over-populated!

    • Anonymous
      Christine Rating:
      #16 12, 09, Thu, Jul 15 2010

      The report is misleading. The dogs that attacked the child did not belong to the gypsies. It is usually the Bulgarians who feed and tolerate stray dogs. In fact gypsies rarely keep dogs. I'm no apologist for the gypsies but if this is the 'ghetto' I am thinking of in Malina Dolina (I live near it) these people are actually living quite peacefully, looking after sheep, cattle and horses. Yes, there is something like an open rubbish dump because they have no rubbish collection and since they have never been to school or been told that living among your rubbish [...]

      Read the full comment is dangerous and not socially acceptable they would not see anything wrong with that.

    • Anonymous
      vv Rating:
      #15 07, 54, Thu, Jul 15 2010

      criticzing bulgaria is anti Slavism!

    • Anonymousto carmelThu, Jul 15 2010

      This comment has been removed by the moderator because it contained

    • Anonymous neutral
      #13 02, 31, Thu, Jul 15 2010

      To Bulgarezil, thanks for standing out and being honest, because I know what you're saying is true.

    • Anonymous neutral
      #12 02, 29, Thu, Jul 15 2010

      Get a job - who will hire them? Get a flat - who will rent one out to them? It is not simple... no real humane solution has been put in place so no way this can just happen. Why do Roma people need to live like "us" anyway? Why does it have to be like this or that? There needs a dynamic, innovative and compassionate solution for looking at such social issues. People act like they are fed up with Roma - when did you ever have contact with them, except to abuse them and degrade them? Did you [...]

      Read the full comment ever try to change things? Probably not, so why so little patience? Because your racist government tried? They did not try very much or simply maybe their approach was not good. There are some organisations supporting Roma in many ways. We are still in the Decade of Roma Inclusion and with 5 years left, there is still time to change your old mentalities and try to be part of positive change in your country. More information about the Decade of Roma Inclusion:

    • Anonymous
      Cosmos Rating:
      #11 21, 46, Wed, Jul 14 2010

      I am a British person who lives in the UK but has interests in BG I travel to BG a lot and spend a lot of time there.The UK yes is a very fair country to all peoples from all over the world but we do have problems with our gypsies we have tried to intergrate them but they do not want any help from anyone.

      Every where they go they leave a trail of destruction and petty crime,the goverment of BG is doing the right thing by demolishing their shacks but they also need to [...]

      Read the full comment cull all the stray dogs in Sofia.

    • Anonymous
      Bulgarezil Rating:
      #10 21, 37, Wed, Jul 14 2010

      Many Bulgarians are far from lily-white they're pure hypercrites- around appartment bloc people throw cigarette butts out of windows, drop trash on the street, don't neuter their pedigree dogs and simply dump the unwanted puppies...and they have decent jobs.

    • Anonymous
      Bugarezil Rating:
      #9 21, 31, Wed, Jul 14 2010

      "get a job, rent a flat. simple" -the only thing that is simple is YOU for that is simply laughable

    • Anonymous
      Cosmos Rating:
      #8 20, 48, Wed, Jul 14 2010

      Carmel your feelings are true to you, but the Roma do not want houses or flats or indeed a job they are the scum of earth who only steal and beg and are parasites on the area they take over. I see that there is no mention of that poor nine year old child that was attacked by stray dogs that are fed by these gypsies . The goverment in BG is right to demolish these sites and get rid of the rubbish.

    • Anonymous neutral
      #7 19, 36, Wed, Jul 14 2010

      where would the six month old child sleep now?

      anywhere would be better than this toilet, that for sure.

      get a job, rent a flat. simple.

    • Anonymous
      Sutcliffeamazed Rating:
      #6 18, 32, Wed, Jul 14 2010

      The best solution then would be for the "liberal" countries like the UK and Sweden to take in all the gypsies in from Bulgaria and Romania on a special immigration program and put them on welfare in their cities. I wonder why they don't do that for such "wonderful" people? After all there are only some 5 million of them and they expand at a rapid rate. Hell in 50 years they would be the majority population in the UK and it would be just wonderful for all!

    • Anonymous neutral
      #5 18, 14, Wed, Jul 14 2010

      @ Mikael - I would like to know the same thing.

    • Anonymous
      Mikael/Sweden Rating:
      #4 17, 48, Wed, Jul 14 2010

      Se where are six month old child going to sleep now?

    • Anonymous neutral
      #3 17, 40, Wed, Jul 14 2010

      If Bulgaria realized they are committing crimes of negligence and against human rights maybe you wouldn't be so openly racist and prejudice. It honestly looks bad on the country and on Europe. You have no system in place for Roma, which is one reason why they continue to face social exclusion and are unable to integrate (not that anyone should be forced to integrate). If you push people to live in poverty and you don't lend a hand to help them and you control the system, what do you expect people to do? Bulgaria has faced it's own problems in [...]

      Read the full comment the past, did it not learn to have compassion for others in that time? The problem in many societies is that the majority don't mind having fellow citizens living in poverty, being marginalized and disadvantaged because it makes people feel better and superior, it feeds the ego... this way is unsustainable.

    • Anonymous
      well done Rating:
      #2 17, 28, Wed, Jul 14 2010

      hey Carmel, you are free to take them all home then, so they can set a campsite in your back garden.

    • Anonymous neutral
      #1 17, 24, Wed, Jul 14 2010

      The treatment of Roma in Bulgaria and throughout all Europe is a disgrace! I have been to Bulgaria twice and have worked with Roma people, they are wonderful people, hospitable, kind, generous, beautiful! I love Bulgaria because of these friendships, but when I hear the news like this I am appalled. This is not a civilized government, who stands by the Roma? Only wonderful individuals, mostly foreigners in Bg. Why spend 40, 000 leva to demolish homes, why not use the money to creat new homes, new services, new ways to improve life for the Roma people? Why do you [...]

      Read the full comment think you are different to Roma? You are human, you have a brain, a heart, arms, legs, feelings, you have family, you need food and water to survive, you need jobs to survive - I see no difference between Roma and yourself. We need strong, compassionate people to stand up for the rights of Roma in Europe and create a new mentality and develop compassion and forget prejudice and all the conditioning...

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