Bulgarian Nationalists’ Roma ‘Integration’ Plan Dismays Rights Advocates


Bulgaria’s Defence Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Krasimir Karakachanov, who is also the leader of the nationalist VMRO party, on Wednesday proposed controversial measures aimed particularly at the country’s ethnic Roma minority.

The propositions have alarmed human rights organisations, which are also a target of VMRO’s criticism, for allegedly “swallowing hundreds of millions of levs” in integration funds and “making matters worse”, reports Balkan Insight.

Dimitar Dimitrov, head of the Roma integration project at the Open Society Bulgaria Foundation, told BIRN: “My first impression is that the concept can’t be taken seriously.

“Karakachanov, or whoever wrote it, is perhaps not aware of the law, but all the restrictions on social payments that they talk of are already in place”.

But Dimitrov voiced concern that such words and ideas – repeated often by VMRO and other nationalist parties – are coming from such a high up place in the political hierarchy as the Deputy Prime Minister’s office.

Full text of the article Bulgarian Nationalists’ Roma ‘Integration’ Plan Dismays Rights Advocates in Balkan Insight.