Roma in Europe

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by Turambar, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    In the past few weeks, Europe has opened a new chapter of controversy - more specifically - France.

    France has (or, at least, claims to have) an issue with Roma immigrants (or inhabitants). They are linked to criminal activity, both trivial and organised - as well as being a general nuicanse for arbitrary electing a spot to make camp without consulting authorities.

    France has vowed to clean up all "illegal" camps and send them back whence they came, mostly Romania. Although European courts have established that France is to facilitate locations for Roma camps, no or very few have been realised, making pretty much all Roma camps illegal. Whilst Brussels (more specifically, by proxies such as Berlin and Amsterdam) is furious and has condemned the situation, France has started to clear camps with a certain rigour which the English-speaking world wouldn't expect from the French.

    Hundreds of Roma have already been repatriated to Romania - a full EU member state. Ironically, the Shengen convention holds that there is free traffic between EU member states, meaning the Roma can return to France without any issue. When money allows, that is. From what I have been able to gather, their property is disowned and destroyed.



    Question is: what are we to make of all this? Is this the dawn of a new era of deportations of minorities in Europe? Will these sort of xenophobic actions be the beginning of the end of the EU? What will be next?

    And: how exactly to deal with Roma?
     
  2. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    I think its a sign that many affluent "western" nations are feeling under invasion and under threat from migrants moving into their countries. This creates even more problems as the migrants are not a few isolated movers, but larger communites that grow and form a subculture within the host nation.

    I think that Frances move is understandle, but also contains a strong element of politics in creating a "blame" group who will not stand as a symbol for "all that is wrong with France". This dealing with this "problem" is seen as important even if the factual info is not present to support such (one could say the vigour with which they are acting out their policy might show that there is weak factual evidence and that its a case of get it done fast and over before people dig too deep).

    However I'm also of a mind that its not a solution - simply sending people back into a country from which they have already moved out because of pressures in that country is not going to stop them simply making the move again. Its a stop gap political move along the lines of what I outlined above and as such is destined to only act as a delay or a shifting of the migrants to other countries. I think a stronger, better approach would be a more unified effort by the recipients of migrants to try and enforce/result a solution in the people own nation that will help stem the flow of migrants.
     
  3. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    Xenophobic or not,racist or not,at least in my country(and I'm pretty sure in other countries as well but I'll speak for my country now)Roma or simply gypsies,are in their vast majority,I'm sorry to say,people who offer nothing much to the State,but on the contrary are involved in drugs,gunfights,stealing and most of them cannot be integrated into society.

    A part of them have well-integrated into society,a small part and others simply cultivate and sell agricultural products or gather scrap metal or sell other stuff at the bazaars.But most of them,have little or nothing to contribute to society except violence,nagging and scams.

    Oh and many also force their children to work at very young ages.
     
  4. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    That is rather pragmatic. National and international laws dictate that this move is not within the realm of possibilities. And, yet, despite all these paper difficulties, France decides to go ahead anyway.

    Apparently, one is never to invoke the image of ethnic cleansing on allied, Western nations. Still, how would one want to differentiate between that and France's decision to undo this cultural and ethnic phenomenon?

    This, apparently, is the international vision on Roma - though I am pretty sure that they don't constitute a majority anywhere this side of where the iron curtain used to be.

    And I must say that the entire Roma story is rather complex. I don't know anything about Roma culture - but it seems to me that they lead a nomadic (or, at least, pseudo-nomadic) life. As such, it appears that they don't recognise the social agreement of society or, indeed, the jurisdiction of a gouvernmental body. That, at least, would explain their resistance to integration.

    Now, this would be a problem. We would be in danger if some people do not recognise the constitution of society. John Locke, a liberal philosopher, states that these people invoke the risk of execution. Extradiction, by comparison, would be mild indeed.

    However, is it not also the constitution of society that everyone is innocent until proven guilty? As an Enlighted society, shouldn't we be above such xenophobic tendancies and judge on a per-case basis? After all, unwillingness to recognise jurisdiction by itself is not a crime as such...

    On a side-note, Fion. I respect you and I respect your opinion. Indeed, it would be rather xenophobic of me not to. However, the Egyptians, as you choose to call them, have no way to defend their opinion here. As such, I think it is better to stick to discussion rather than to fall into generalisations, whether they are true or not.
     
  5. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    No no,I wasn't talking about the Egyptians when I said gypsies.

    We usually call the Roma as "gypsies" or "athingans" or simply a word called "tsigans" which is well-known in the Balkans I guess.

    These people have nothing to do with the Egyptians,we're talking about the Roma,these are gypsies I am talking about.

    Yes,like you said they used to be a nomadic people.Probably centuries ago or at least in some countries,many decades ago.

    Here in Greece,they usually live in their own neighborhoods and usually in tents or other houses.There are few of them in comparison to the total who live apartments.And many even live in their own trucks!I'm talking about big families living inside big trucks where they travel or sell their goods.

    And like I said,the vast majority of them are not integretated fully into society and they contribute more or less nothing to the country.

    In the city where I study,there are many of them who live there and you can see them talk LOUD wherever they go,they have their own vendettas,many of them just put their little kids to sell tissues or bracelets and other stuff...I mean...you can see that.Plus a large number of them are "professional beggars".They find spots on streets and outside buildings and they beg all day and many of the mothers drag their 1-2 year old children with them to get more attention.

    And why am I saying "professional beggars"?Because living in Larissa for about 5-6 years I kept seeing the same Roma/gypsy grannies or women,in the same spots and many times in different places for days and days.

    Let's put that aside for a moment.When my grandmother was at the hospital,dying 3 years ago,there was a family of Roma/gypsies who had their girl hospitalized in the same room with my grandmother and well athough I was there for only 2-3 days when my grandmother was dying and after she died,I got to talk with them a bit,mainly an old woman I think she was the mother of that girl and generally it was ok.They were ok people.

    But they were still kind of different.Actually,they are very bonded with each other,at the hospital there were dozen of other gypsies gathering to support that girl and her family.And they are known to be loud.They can be very loud and hotheaded.

    Walking downtown Larissa you can see like 100 people on the street and 4-5 people(gypsies)standing out in the crowd because they talk as if they are shouting at each other.And not in clear greek,in a language or dialect of theirs.

    Of course there are some,unfortunately few,if you take into consideration the number of Roma in Greece,who have become famous and loved by the people.Like singers,composers etc.

    But,like I mentioned before,the majority not only doesn't contribute a lot to the country,but MANY of them are involved in drugs,guns,violence,theft and scams.


    Many years ago there was a situation in a Roma place in Greece,heavy police forces entered the area to arrest men involved in drug trafficing and other stuff and they tore the place apart or anyway searched everything.The channels of course started talking about racism,about police violence,about discrimination,about the poor people...

    So I kind of understand the French now that they want to send them away.

    I don't know what they do in Spain or other European countries.
     
  6. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Although clearly a misnomen, the etymology of the word "Gypsie" lies with Egyptian. Although not coloquial anymore, Egyptian would still be a valid way to describe a Roma.

    Which is still better than Tsigani - from what I understand, that was derived from "traveling thief" in an old German dialect.

    I can't particularly speak for France, but in most of Western Europe, Roma live in vans and small trucks, traveling as a family. When they are able to afford a bit of luxury, they usually buy a caravan, preferrably of the humongous kind. When times are bad, they typically live in an improvised camp. I know some Roma live in houses, but I can't think of any clusters of Roma living in houses anywhere in The Netherlands.

    Philosophically speaking, I don't know whether this can be demanded from anyone - especially when the jurisdiction of society is not recognised.

    .... Greeks can be very loud and hotheaded? ;)

    It appears that there was a reason to enter this Roma area - to arrest people on suspicion of whatever crimes they commited. That is fully acceptable. It's rather normal for the police to arrest people.

    What is very unusual is the practice of pre-emptive clearing on ethnic grounds. Let me remind you, these are not illegal immigrants (as most simply hold an EU passport). I can't for the life of me remember an occasion where this happened in free democratic Europe.

    And, accepting that this practice is now in play, what will be next? Repratriation of Algerians or Moroccans?

    Since the countries of Eastern Europe have joined the EU, Brussels has inherited a problem with Roma. They are under heavy discrimination in Slovakia, Romania and other countries. They trully are regarded as second-rank citizens - or even denizens in parts, a situation held in place by the gouvernments. I am talking about situations far worse than in Greece.

    A simple solution, on account of the Roma at least, is to migrate to other countries within the EU based on the Shengen convention. Apparently, Brussels hasn't found a way to deal with this. And, since we do have open borders, it really is our collective responsibility. The first to take true action was France, which says "not in our back yard". It's not hard to see that NIOBY is not a solution to anything at all...
     
  7. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    Repatriation of Maghreb Arabs is something the French will decide on their own.This is...the price of imperialism.They had colonies in Arabic countries and Africa and now they must take care the citizens of their former colonies just like the British do_Or they can choose to just kick them all out of the country and have the media and other countries call them evil racists.That's their decision.

    Oh and if you think that Greeks are loud and hotheaded...you probably haven't seen the Roma here :p

    And by the way they also call themselves tsigans.Well many of them.
     
  8. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    Former colonies do not have the right to emigrate to the UK, they have to go through the process along with other nationalities. It's true that more applications are received from those countries because of the historical ties though.

    On the subject of Roma, you have to take the rough with the smooth. As EC members they have free movement. To curtail that right is to restrict the opportunity for your own people to work / travel within other members states. France should be making sure there's adequate legal sites and throw the book at those who illegally squat on private / public land or commit crimes.
     
  9. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Those colonies have chosen independance. Although France has been inclined to help the independant states that used to be part of their empire, the citizens of the former colonies are now foreigners like any other. Pretty much all immigrants that have moved to France before the independance of these countries are either naturalised to French - or born in France, thus making them French anyway.

    That hasn't stopped immigrants from moving to France anyway - legal or illegal. France is a logical choice, since most speak the language anyway. Disregarding a few international laws about asylum seekers and their safety, illegal immigrants could be returned without question.

    It is, however, not "up to France" to decide what to do with naturalised French from foreign origin. That is to say, it is highly unusual to expatriate your own citizens. And, I believe that it is in that light that we should see this development regarding the Roma.

    More specifically, this particular situation with the Roma would be the same as sending all Greeks in The Netherlands to whence they came, because "a lot" of them are involved in Maffia activities.
     
  10. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    Like I said,the French are paying the price of Colonialism.And I insist that it's up to them to "clear" their country out of illegal immigrants or certain groups that live parasitically in the country.Of course that is a situation that is starting to happen the European Union countries for example,here we're getting full of immigrants coming from all over Asia and Africa in big numbers and very fast.Italy has had the same problem too in a degree,Spain I guess too.German,Britain,France,Sweden,Netherlands and other countries.

    The Roma do mostly live parasitically and don't integrate within modern society easily.

    But for us in Greece,the Roma are the least problem caused by a certain "ethnic" group right now.The biggest problems(I'm not talking about economy and the economic crisis)come from the ghettos of downtown Athens and other areas in the capital which have become full of Afghanis,Pakistanis,Nigerians,Somalians,Russocaucasians,Albanians and others.The situation is so volatile down there that people in certain neighborhoods and areas of Athens do not dare to cross from parts of it because of the illegal immigrants.

    So at least for us,at this moment the Roma are the least problem.The problem is the thousands of illegal immigrants who keep coming and the leftist groups and political parties that support them(and in my opinion use them to promote their political ideas against "capitalism").
     
  11. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    It is entirely up to France to decide what to do with illegal immigrants who refuse - or are refused a claim to asylum when it comes to ex- or repatriation. With the caveat that repatriation needs to be safe for the people involved.

    "Parasites", as you call them, are something else entirely; there are other tools to deal with such individuals. Laws can be made to limit cetain liberties of these people - or stimulate integration and/or participation. Social security can be cut. Taxes can be levied in such a way that it becomes impossibly to sustain without a job (or sufficient wealth?). You will see that it is fully possibly to deploy this without any apeal to ethnicity. I will remind you that previous experiments involving discrimination on ethnicity have lead to some of the most lementable pages of history. Can we agree that this should be avoided at all cost?
     
  12. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    It should be avoided of course,people are people,but a country should have the freedom to do what they can to help their society function correctly.

    Globalisation is a bad thing and we see thousands of illegal immigrants coming from all over the world and most specifically Asia and Africa.And since they come in thousands,this adds to criminal activity on each European country.So France,after what they went through with the uprisings a few years ago,I think are trying to turn a bit more to the "right" although that might be a big political mistake for Sarkozy.Basically it would be a big political mistake for any politician to take any measures like that,so it needs balls to try and put a stop in an ethnic group's stay in a country.

    Of course in USA the opossite is happening with Obama and the entire mosque thing,because Obama is trying to show New Yorkers and generally all Americans the sense of even more tolerance even when it can lead to real trouble.
     
  13. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Society is comprised of all of its people, not most or selected numbers.

    It seems to me that you suggest that discrimination is acceptable under certain conditions. This is pretty radical - can you please elaborate a bit?

    Globalisation, in my opinion, is first and foremost a neutral affair. It comes with many benefits, not least of which economic and developmental. It also has drawbacks and challenges. But I reject your statement that it is "a bad thing" unless reasoned out very thoroughly.

    I would call this an assumption. I can't recognise it in Dutch figures. Generalisations, Foin. Generalisations...

    The uprisings in the Banlieu of a few years back were the result of neglect by the national gouvernment. The people involved were mostly of African origin. And the move towards the right, the alienation from people of different ethnic origin has been going on for years, if not decades now. I would expect a majority of the French (albeit small) backing this move on the Roma. It is assumed that Sarkozie actually used this move to redirect the attention from other policies and situations.
     
  14. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    Yup this is what it is:

    When lots of people from different ethnic groups,most of which are of different religions and cultures AND of course,many of them are poor(immigrants and illegal immigrants)gather in a country,then social upheaval and violence are what happens.USA is the only different case because it was a place where different people had started coming early on,plus it was a vast country,with strict laws and kept everyone happy.

    Now when you have European countries in which immigrants from Asia and Africa come in by the thousands every year,the situation becomes volatile.And even worse if that happens to countries more "ethnically pure" let's say like Eastern European and Southeastern European countries with small population sizes.If you "squeeze" these countries with thousands of illegal immigrants of different religions and cultures,into a nation that has not been used to having rapid alterations in it's ethnic composition,that creates a very bad...umm...future.For the society of that country.Of each of these countries.

    I'm not gonna pay for the poverty in Africa or for Bush's wars in the Middle-East that drove hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants from Asia into Europe.I like them,I respect them,I respect their cultures and religions,but each to his country.If a country the size of Greece or Serbia or Slovakia or even Finland,cannot sustain a large number of incoming immigrants legal or illegal,then it's not "racism" it's just common sense.Living in a country that has about 10,000,000 people with an extra more or less 1 or 2 million legal and illegal immigrants,doesn't make life better for neither of us.

    Now this is one of the bad things of globalisation: Mixture of people and cultures,actually FORCED mixture of people and cultures that cannot co-exist peacefully.There are a lot of other bad things about globalisation but I won't discuss them here and now because it's a long story.


    You said it yourself later:

    People of other ethnic origin,who came to France,probably if of course i am not mistaken,not being invited to France,to live and work there.The government might have neglected them or they couldn't have done much for them but no matter what,they started a violent uprising therefore the french government could have taken care of the matter and "cleaned" the country of such let's say "negative" elements.



    As for the Roma I have a good suggestion:

    Let's gather all the Roma in Europe and send them to the Netherlands :p
     
  15. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Change always meets resistance, I agree with you there. The assumption, however, that this predicts a bad future is not properly founded. Could you be a bit more specific? And how long would this "bad" last? Surely, all problems in society are of temporary nature?


    Thing is, you ARE paying for poverty in Africa. Without it, there would be little to no migration - at least not on economic grounds.

    However, earlier you advocated repatriations of either legal immigrants or citizens (either of the EU or of the subject country). The proposed remedy is a stop to immigration and a closer watch on illegal settlement. What about repatriation of people who aren't illegal?

    Life is a game of give and take, Foin. Live and let live.

    How come, by the way, that cultures cannot co-exsist? I've certainly never come across one. Could it by your own unwillingness to recognise the situation? The triviality of culture? The factual inconservability of society? The arbitrary nature of borders and the uneven distribution of wealth that is part of souvereignty?


    So... if you and your social environment storm Athens, you would find it just to be expatriated? There really is no difference. Most of the youth involved in the Banlieu riots were second generation. Being born on French soil makes one a French citizen - unless you want to discriminate on ethnicity. Is that your suggestion?

    Yes. Or let's move them all to Greece. In all, Greece is not very densely populated anyway.
     
  16. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    Time shows.In the case of Greece,since the early 90s when the borders with Albania opened we've had thousands of Albanians come here.And after the first true greeks of the former Soviet Union who came back to Greece,we've had waves of so-called "ethnic greeks from the former USSR" coming here which have little or nothing to do with Greece,but get lots of priviliges from the State just to vote for the ruling party.Anyway,since the early 90s and especially after 2000,the crime rate increased.Now there is a large muslim community in Athens which causes apart from fear to the local Greek citizens,trouble from time to time and not too rare.We're talking about Afghanis,Pakistanis,Somalis,Nigerians other kinds of Africans and Albanians fighting with each other and forming their own ghettos.

    And all this in a country that still has scars against muslim occupation.Just to imagine,my city was only freed in 1912!!!!

    You can also take Kosovo as an example were the Albanians kept coming first under Ottoman encouragement(they kept moving Albanians to settle in Kosovo)and then under Tito who gave more privilages to the Albanians.The result was a bitter war and now a Serbian province is under almost complete dominance by Albanians.

    Time will tell.


    Immigrants in small numbers are good.In fact they are very nice to see.People with families,good people.People in small numbers.When you get boats full of hundreds of illegal immigrants from the East almost every month...that causes a lot of problems to the State and the immigrant too.Because they come here and they demand things,they don't find what they are looking for(somehow they think Greece or generally Europe is heaven on earth or something...)and they get angry and call us stuff.Then if we get angry too,they call us racists.

    That I can't tell you.I don't know.In Greece there were many scams when it comes to giving someone greek citizenship.Some years ago,during the PASOK government rule illegal immigrants were easily given greek citizenship in order to vote for the ruling party.So...in our days there is a question as to who and how should be given the right to be called a Greek.Because the second generation immigrants,may get the greek citizenship,but will they get the nationality as well?Although many of these children consider themselves Greek citizens,but not all.Actually I don't know how many of them think of themselves as greeks.
    But I've heard stories irl and on TV about some children of immigrants who love our country.
    And that makes me happy.The same way it makes me extremely happy to see black men serving in our army!That makes me very very happy.

    But if I see stuff like the ones that happened in Serbia in Sandzak where the local muslims were shouting "Ovo je Turska!" after a basketball games and went out with Turkish flags...that makes me angry.



    My friend,some people and some ethnic groups and religions can peacefully co-exist.Others can't.It all depends on: Political views of the minority(for example if a foreign country is guiding this minority for its own political purposes),religion and level of education/cultural habits.

    For example decades ago,when people migrated to Germany,Belgium,Australia and USA to find work,they were checked to the last detail,they got to know the laws of the country and they got to respect those countries' laws,people,cultures and habits and were 100% legitimate and honest workers.Were at least most of them.

    The last couple of decades things have been getting out of hand.Poverty combined with ethnic or religious clashes(for example muslims in Europe seeing muslims in the Middle-East
    getting attacked by the West)cause violence,hatred and alienation to people of a country.

    Let's face it,people of very different cultures can cope very when they are far from one another.

    Nah,if you guys are so "open-minded" and tolerant,I think we should send them all to the Netherlands!
     
  17. Turambar

    Turambar Harebrained Staff Member

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    Yeah... but this thread was about Roma and not so much about Greece ^^

    We're veering off course.

    To even doubt the right of nationality and/or citizenship to the country you are born in is, in my opinion, rather extreme and a slippery slope. The suggestion is that the wrong "blood" leads to being a second-grade citizen. Or, possibly, not even a citizen at all.

    You also need to understand that people need to be given some confidence in order for them to function propperly in society. Discrimination is, partly, a self-fulfilling prophecy - when people are singled out, they will stick together in defense of the hateful, dangerous outside world.

    The resulting frustration might manifest itself in this sort of behaviour.


    And, as things go, marriages which end in divorce, are always the fault of the woman. No?

    There needs to be a willingness from both sides to accept and co-exsist. For the conservative and orthodox picture you have painted us, I don't believe the Greeks are too keen on co-exsistance.

    You jest.

    It's not a very constructive answer on a serious question, Foin.

    Whatever we do, the fact remains that there are several million Roma scattered across Europe. And, apparently, nobody wants them. And, yet, they too have the right to live a free life, just like all other people in the world - and all the more so in Europe.

    So, what should we do? Should we collectively provide a decent living - in Romania and Slovakia at least - so that they can actually start working on forming a society? Should we start a dialogue with Roma groups in Western Europe to provide for places where they can stay? Or should we keep the situation festering until something breaks? Or ignore the situation?

    Or should we come to the conclusion that Europe is better rid of these Europeans, who never quite fit in anyway...
     
  18. Foinikas

    Foinikas Playing backgammon!

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    Ok seriously?I don't know.Maybe we should provide bigger chances and bigger motivation for them to live in a more modern way.
     
  19. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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  20. azuren82

    azuren82 Berserk got banned...

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    I've also seen that news in Yahoo! Elladan. Seems like France will be crying foul over the so-called liberals. -.-