An open attitude of the Romanian Parliament against racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism is needed and urgent, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Ludovic Orban, the national leader of the National Liberal Party (PNL), said on Wednesday.
"Oftentimes public discourse on our fellow Roma seems to be dominated by incitement to hatred, and there is often silence when those who should fight against racism and discrimination do not. It is therefore appropriate to pay attention to the alarm signals sent by associations, to the analyses of research institutes and of the specialists who study social phenomena," Ludovic Orban told a roundtable conference called "Romania, the common and indivisible homeland of all its citizens," organised by the parliamentary group of national minorities in the Chamber of Deputies and the Pro-Europe Romany Association, agerpres.ro confirms.
According to Orban, reading the reports published in recent years by the Elie Wiesel Institute, UNICEF and Romania's National Council for Combating Discrimination, or even a simple foray into social media shows a not very encouraging picture: only a third of Romany children complete formal primary education, and the numbers are even lower for girls, and over 70% of their families live in a state of poverty that prevents them from accessing education, healthcare and other services.
"The pandemic since last year has exacerbated these phenomena, making it increasingly difficult to access jobs, education, information and the health care system," Orban said.
According to him, in order for the Romanian society to be able to aspire to modernity, it must defend its dignity and values.
"As we all know, Romania has laws that condemn discrimination in all its forms, only we rarely see them (...) That is why an open attitude of the Romanian Parliament against racism, xenophobia and anti-Semitism, which are related and equally reprehensible phenomena, is necessary and even urgent," added Orban.
He announced that important projects will be discussed, including the founding of cultural organisations to present and stimulate the development of Romany culture in Romania: a theatre house and a museum to celebrate heritage and living culture.