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România Liberâ - Romania | Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Roma live in woeful freedom

On a television programme the French comedian Jonathan Lambert has made a gag of sticking out his hand in greeting. The daily România Liberă is not amused at this allusion to the numerous Romanian beggars in France, many of whom are Roma: "We're proud that we abolished slavery - in this case that of the Roma - before the Americans. But liberation came as a calamity for many of them. ... The Gypsies were liberated in 1856, without acquiring the means of organising their own lives. Consequently they fell by the wayside and were forced to beg. Today others find themselves in a similar situation: the youths who must leave their orphanages on turning 18, many of whom become pickpockets or burglars. Few of them manage to find a place in society after losing the one stabilising factor in their lives from one day to the next: the roof over their heads."

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