Europe : la présidence espagnole, un espoir pour les Roms ?

La discrimination contre les Roms en Europe ne faiblit pas. Non seulement elle viole la dignité humaine, mais elle constitue un problème social majeur qui freine le développement des pays d'Europe de l'Est qui comptent une importante communauté rom. L'Espagne est le pays qui a le mieux réussi à traiter cette question. Elle pourrait montrer la voie ce mois-ci, car elle accède à la présidence de l'UE .

Près de 12 millions de Roms vivent en Europe , essentiellement dans les pays à l'est du continent. Malgré la croissance économique dont bénéficie la région depuis une vingtaine d'années, la vie de beaucoup de Roms a empiré. A l'époque du communisme ils disposaient d'un emploi et d'un logement ; mais l'industrie lourde, le secteur dans lequel beaucoup d'entre eux travaillaient, n'existe plus et ils sont frappés de plein fouet par le chômage. Nombre d'entre eux vivent dans des conditions déplorables, indignes d'une Europe moderne.

Ces difficultés économiques sont aggravées par des tensions sociales. La majorité de la population est fortement hostile aux Roms qui sont confrontés à des discriminations à tous les niveaux. Ainsi les enfants roms sont souvent relégués dans des classes destinées aux handicapés mentaux, simplement parce qu'ils sont roms. Malgré les décisions de justice ordonnant des réformes, les Roms sont victimes de discrimination dans l'accès au logement, à l'éducation et aux soins. Cela engendre un cercle vicieux de pauvreté et de marginalisation dans lequel réalité et stéréotypes se renforcent mutuellement.

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