Racist remark toward roma made by Berlusconi

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Vendredi 15 Février 2008

ERTF Press Release: Racist remark toward roma made by Berlusconi

European Roma and Travellers Forum
Press Release

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Racist remark toward roma made by berlusconi

Strasbourg, 15 February 2008: On the occasion of the racist remark toward Roma made by Mr. Silvio Berlusconi, Former Prime Minister of Italy, the European Roma and Travellers Forum asked Mr. Berluscony to apologise to Roma.

“ This is a racist remark and encourages hatred which can lead to violence and discrimination against Roma (Anti-Gypsyism).

We are very surprised that a leader of a Political Party and a former Prime Minister could make a statement of this nature.

Criminal elements can be found in every sector of the population irrespective of ethnicity and social class. This does not mean that the whole sector – in this case the Roma - are criminals.

Let me remind you that over ten million Roma are living in Europe as part of European society and are the biggest European Minority facing discrimination” Mr. Kawczynski said in his letter

and asked Mr. Berlusconi to apologise to Roma and to respect Article 3 of the Italian constitution and Articles 21 and 22 of the Charter of the Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

The European Roma and Travellers Forum (ERTF), which has a partnership agreement with the Council of Europe and a special status with this institution, is Europe's largest and most inclusive Roma organisation. It brings together Europe's main international Roma-NGOs and more than 1,500 national Roma organisations from most of the Council of Europe member states.

For further information please contact:

European Roma and Travellers Forum
c/o Council of Europe
F – 67 075 Strasbourg

Tel.: 00 33 3 90 21 53 50
Email: or

Vendredi 15 Février 2008

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