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Papakotschew, Georgi

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Klassa - Bulgaria | 22/11/2007

The Roma's situation in Europe

The Bulgarian capital's municipal authorities have announced plans for the construction of a wall on the edge of Sofia's Roma district. The wall is to run parallel to a railway track and the official explanation is that it will "protect residents against the noise of passing trains and hinder makeshift rubbish dumps and the continuous crossing of train tracks." Georgi Papakotshev comments: "The municipal authorities' plans to build a wall along the border of the Roma district Fakulteta has caused an uproar among the district's residents. There are obvious parallels with the situation in the Czech city of Ustí nad Labem in 1999. This analogy says a lot about the extreme and frequently xenophobic mood in post-communist countries. But the difference is that the Central European Czech Republic had not yet joined the EU at the time, whereas Bulgaria has been an EU member for ten months now. ... What price would we pay for this wall? Well, Bulgaria ... would no longer be a 'European role model' for the restless southern Balkan region."

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