CEOL - Visegrad countries ask EU for help on problems of Roma

BRATISLAVA, Dec 14, 1999 -- (RFE/RL) Representatives of the Visegrad Four--Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary--on December 10 asked the EU to help them resolve the social problems of the region's Romany population, CTK reported. The representatives issued the joint request at a human rights conference in Bratislava. The declaration describes the "coexistence between the majority population and the Romany minority" as a problem that requires a solution of "European dimensions."

Slovak government commissioner for Romany issues Vincent Danihel said the region needs money from the EU to provide a comprehensive solution to the Romany problem, including housing and unemployment programs. He said Slovakia will receive 1.8 million euros ($1.82 million) from the PHARE program for Romany projects next year but added that the country needs much more.

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