La minorité perdue de l’Europe

BUDAPEST – Des millions d’Européens éprouvent en ce moment craintes et frustrations devant la perspective de perdre emplois, épargnes et pensions. Ils s’inquiètent des avantages sociaux qui se réduisent comme une peau de chagrin et voient venir d’autres difficultés économiques. Leurs craintes sont fondées, car la crise financière actuelle mine les fondements mêmes de l’union mise en place à la fin de la Seconde Guerre mondiale pour guérir les plaies de l’Europe.

Mais, au milieu de la détresse générale, un peuple – les Roms – est laissé pour compte. La minorité ethnique la plus importante et la plus démunie d’Europe compte des millions de personnes et équivaut à la population de la Grèce. Prisonniers de la pauvreté extrême et de l’ignorance, les Roms voient leur sort aggravé par la discrimination généralisée. De fait, l’Enquête 2009 de l’Union européenne sur les minorités et la discrimination confirme que les Roms subissent une plus grande discrimination que toute autre minorité ethnique d’Europe.

En ces temps difficiles qui amènent un lot d’attitudes belliqueuses, vindicatives et intolérantes, les Roms sont devenus les boucs émissaires de la crise économique. En fait, le dénigrement systématique des Roms a donné l'occasion aux partis d’extrême droite de se rallier et de faire gagner des votes aux chefs de partis nationalistes. Même certains partis politiques traditionnels ont eu recours à un discours hostile envers les Roms qui aurait été inconcevable il y a une décennie. Malgré tout, les Roms se sont abstenus de répliquer aux actes de violence parfois mortels dont ils ont été victimes.

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