Zoran Dimov - Mli kolumna

Column by Zoran Dimov: Bulgaria is empty! More than half a million Bulgarian Roma are around the world!

In the focus of the public in the Western Balkans, one of the topics is the Bulgarian veto on the start of EU negotiations with North Macedonia. I would not comment on the dispute and the problems, but I would refer to another moment, I would only mention one undeniable fact. My grandfather Panta (May he rest in peace), witnessed many events during the Second World War when, as he says: - The Bulgarian army also came to Macedonia. Among other things, they were in Topana, the oldest Roma neighborhood in Skopje and in the Balkans. In the eyes of my grandfather Panta and my grandmother Petra, that Bulgarian army was "so good and kind" to the local people, that they constantly tortured and physically abused them through its raids, home searches and terrorized innocent civilians. Once my grandfather Panta was beaten by the Bulgarian gendarmerie for no reason. His hands were also broken, and my grandmother Petra had to put lamb bandages on him for a whole month, so that he could heal him from bruises all over his body, and as a result of that beating he remained disabled with his hands for the rest of his life. And so he worked with his broken arms. All the old people of Skopje know who Panta was.
Does Bulgaria, as an EU member, respect the rights of the minorities living there? First of all, I mean the Roma minority in Bulgaria!
With the fall of communism and the democratic process, according to analysts, Bulgaria has literally emptied itself. According to forecasts, by 2050 Bulgaria will lose 1/4 of its population. That corps also includes the Roma minority in Bulgaria, which according to some estimates currently numbers over 1 million Roma in Bulgaria.
But with the entry into the EU, an exodus of Bulgarians began. Among them are the Bulgarian Roma. What is the reason for this?
The fact is that besides Romania, Bulgaria is the economically weakest member of the EU. Hence the reasons are clear and unambiguous, that the exodus is mostly for economic reasons.
According to some figures, about half a million Bulgarian Roma have already emigrated to EU countries alone, and hundreds of thousands of Roma from Bulgaria and other countries around the world.
The most attractive destinations are Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, but no less than Great Britain, Spain, Scandinavia and others.
The question also arises as to whether the economic indicator alone is the cause of this exodus. Percentage maybe yes, but there are other factors.
Bulgarian Roma have always been on the margins of Bulgarian society. They have never been high on the agenda of priorities in Bulgarian society and solving their many decades of problems. First of all, we mean employment, education, health, housing, etc. This is clearly stated in the statements and reports of various international organizations, as well as by Roma associations, organizations that regularly send them to the international community.
This is stated in the statements of the International Roma Union - IRU and its members and delegates from this country, who regularly report on any anomalies and actions taken by the Bulgarian government against the Roma. The IRU has repeatedly reacted to all these incidents with protest letters and notes to the Bulgarian Embassy, ​​but to date there is no feedback on whether any action has been taken or any decisions have been made. Nor do they have a court ruling. Maybe that moment is important for this mass exodus of Bulgarian Roma from Bulgaria, In that context and in the past and now with the current government of Boyko Borisov, and his mentors, Karakachanov, Zaharieva and others further contribute to the Roma from this country not feel at home, but treated as a third or fourth class of citizens. Vojvodinovo, Sofia Roma settlement Faculties, Pazardzhik, Stara Zagora and many other Roma settlements were targeted by the state leadership with various actions, demolition of their homes, police actions and raids and other systematic pressures on the most vulnerable category of Bulgarian society . One example is the Pandemic with Covid-19, where for example several Roma settlements were air-disinfected and under special supervision and quarantine by police officers, that the Roma are one of the biggest threats to the Covid 19 infection in Bulgaria. An example is Kyustendil where the Roma settlement was placed under a 30-day full quarantine and curfew. And it is under cover that everything is legally justified, legally and legally sustainable.
If we know that now in March 2021 there is an election in Bulgaria, then we must be aware that the government in order to win the vote of the Bulgarians (with patriotic vocabulary), will do everything for the unhealthy Bulgarian society, the Roma are "guilty", we can assume what expects the Roma in these parties' election campaigns, and where they will "shoot".
Therefore, Europe, do not close your eyes to the facts! And do not be hypocritical, giving Bulgaria 1.5 million euros, so that the Bulgarian Ministry of Interior controls the "threatening Roma settlements" that there are potential public danger of Islamic radicalism and extremism!
Take a look at nationalists like Karakachanov and others who have an agenda that Roma are redundant in Bulgaria.

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Zoran Dimov Column: There will be a directory, but someone wants to stop it !! ??

Dear readers, from today onwards I will have the pleasure to share with you my thoughts, analyzes, views, and opinions.

But let me get to the point. We all know that the focus of public attention is on the Pandemic with Covid 19 one of the biggest global problems, and if we locate by region, specifically in our country besides the Pandemic one of the biggest focuses is given at the beginning for recommendations to start entry negotiations in the EU of the Republic of Northern Macedonia. The local public is focused on the current blockades for the start of negotiations and the veto given by the Republic of Bulgaria.

Exactly those events somehow "shadow" some moments related to the Roma community in our country. First of all, we are thinking of some moves made by the current Government of RS Macedonia and the positioning of the functions (read ministers, deputy ministers, and other positions). It is obvious that after the appointment of those positions, the Roma community in the sense of the word was "forgotten" because exactly in those positions no Roma was appointed.

That moment was met with disappointment and various comments by the Roma community in the country. But that only caused disappointment - and nothing more.

But it is necessary to ask a rhetorical question: "Who is to blame for this situation?" Is it the fault of the government or the Roma political bloc that is in coalition with the current government? The comments are as follows: "Roma Syndrome of Disunity and Advocacy" is currently the winner. Unlike some other communities living in this territory and regardless of different political views and attitudes, when it comes to "national interest" mutual misunderstandings are forgotten only in the name of national interests.

And with us Roma it is the other way around, and only because we always want personal interest to win.

An example is the newly appointed position - function in the Government - Directory! Previously, this position was designated as "Minister without portfolio" where in all past years that position was represented by a party representative - staff from that Roma political option that is in coalition with the winning coalition and a member of the Government.

But now, with the renaming of this position, there is still no one, because according to the new legal provisions, some changes need to be made because now that position will have wider competencies. This implies some new systematization of jobs in several ministries (Social Affairs and Labor, Health, Transport and Communications, Culture, Youth and Sports) where so far there were departments that had appointed managers, who led those sectors and closely related to Roma issues, which should now be under the authority of the Directory

However, in parallel with that moment, negotiations and agreements are being conducted as to who will take that position. And instead of being resolved without a major problem, which indirectly means that position should be taken by a staff of a political party in power (as in previous years), now how to delay that process intentionally or not. Is this delay due to the fact that some sectors that were in the designated ministries will be abolished. Does this mean that some positions from those ministries that were reserved for the same people for a long time, can now be left without work engagement. Is that the reason for that - braking and resistance?

We are aware that the challenges and problems faced by the Roma community in the country are huge, and it is necessary for that directorate to start operating as soon as possible, while the public focus is in another direction (as I stated above), this question is somehow posed in some second or third plan.

Also a question to the Government, do they have in their Budget for 2021 allocated funds for this Directory and its functioning as well as funds that this Directory will have at its disposal and will distribute them according to the priorities and strictly defined criteria. Or maybe he will wait for a new rebalance in January next year.

Maybe this Government is also hoping for some financial support from outside so that it can more easily deal with and pass "easier" from a financial point of view with the Directory

I am of the opinion, regardless of everything, that the Directory by the end of 2020 will be officialized and will function and will enter the package as an account of the Government for its work in the first 100 days. The fact is that 3 months have passed, all ministries and deputies have been appointed, only the Directory is still a "brake".

Where is the "resistance" hidden? In the country, in the sectors of some ministries that work on activities related to the Roma, and now they should be under the jurisdiction of the new Directory, or in some external factor?

No matter how much I say I work, there should be a solution soon. And who will run the directory is another story! For that - then!

Zoran Dimov

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