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Andor László, Balog Zoltán

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Heti Válasz - Hungary | 20/01/2011

Europe must help Roma

Working out a programme for integrating the Roma is one of the top priorities of the Hungarian EU presidency. The majority of Roma in Central Eastern Europe live in even worse conditions than before 1989, EU Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs László Andor and Zoltán Balog, junior minister for social affairs in Hungary, point out: "There are between 10 and 12 million Roma living in Europe; 80 percent of them live in the new EU member states. In the context of Hungary's EU presidency their situation can be particularly well illustrated using Hungary as an example. Roughly 700,000 Roma live in this country of 10 million inhabitants. … Four out of every five adult Roma in Hungary are unemployed, 70 percent of Roma children never graduate from high school, and 70 percent of them live in ghetto-like settlements. In Hungary, Roma die on average 10 to 15 years earlier than their non-Roma counterparts. … The Hungarian EU presidency therefore aims to help the Roma not least by guaranteeing them work and education. … Meanwhile all Europe must cooperate with this task."

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