Between the rock and a hard place

Little roma girl Jana enjoys her chocolate as cousin Kuba, baby Adryan and aunt Lenka spend the day isolated by the Czech community. More than 50 members of Rodyna roma family have lived for years in very modest conditions in a Sport hotel in Varnsdorf. In August and September the roma in Varnsdorf have been victims of aggression and demonstrations demanding their eviction. Some roma have also been attacking local czechs in the underdeveloped northern Bohemian part of the Czech Republic. (Kalle Koponen)

Extended roma family lives in an old hotel in Varnsdorf.

The Roma are having a hard time again in Europe. In Bulgaria and Czech Republic there have been mob scenes with local people wanting to lynch Roma. Riot police has been deployed several times recent weeks to keep the parties away from harming each other. Mainly the police has been protecting the Roma. The Roma are in a no-win situation. “Get a job” is what the Czech demonstrators scream. “Sorry, I just cannot hire a roma, I´d lose my customers” is what the prospective employers say, some of them at least embarrassed. As a result, roma stay poor, undereducated and some turn to petty crime. Whatever the origins of these problems, they are not going away from Europe. On the contrary. It seems the Roma issue is becoming ever more acute. See more images from the Roma conflict in northern Bohemia here.



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