Por qué los romá europeos son importantes

El Banco Mundial, el Instituto Sociedad Abierta y la Comisión Europea están coauspiciando una conferencia, Los romá en una Europa que se amplía: desafíos para el futuro, del 30 de junio al 1 de julio en Budapest, con el gobierno de Hungría como anfitrión. Aquí, los Presidentes del Banco Mundial y del Instituto Sociedad Abierta analizarán los problemas que se abordarán.

Demasiado a menudo, en los países de la Europa central y del este los adolescentes y niños romá pasan sus días en los basurales. Incapaces de costearse la escuela, recogen papel y otros deshechos para reciclarlos y ganar sólo lo justo para comer. Demasiado a menudo las familias romá viven en minúsculas y retorcidas casuchas de lata o madera sin energía eléctrica ni agua potable, con sombrías perspectivas para el futuro. Una situación similar, aunque en una escala menor, existe en muchos países miembros de la Unión Europea que tienen en su territorio a minorías romá.

Hay una enorme disparidad socioeconómica entre la mayoría de la población europea y los romá o "gitanos", muchos de los cuales viven en una pobreza extrema. Si no se cambia, esta pobreza persistente amenaza con convertirse en una traba permanente a la prosperidad europea, lo que sería una tragedia tanto para los romá como para quienes no lo son.

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