Deputy PM Karakachanov: Only Way to Integrate Roma Is Education and Work

Sofia, January 14 (BTA) - Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Krassimir Karakachanov said here on Monday that the only way to fully integrate the Roma is through education and work. He said, however, that there is nothing for which he feels the need to apologize. Karakachanov commented the demands for his resignation made by some organizations over his statements about the Roma community from last week.

The Deputy PM was speaking to journalists at the Defence Ministry after students from the northern town of Zlataritsa greeted him on the occasion of Vassilitsa (the Roma New Year). According to Karakachanov, this initiative is positive as it serves as an example to the remaining members of the community how they can integrate themselves - through education and work.

All organizations that have absorbed funds throughout the years for the Roma's integration must report how much they have received, how the money has been spent and why there is no effect from that, he went on to say.

Minister Karakachanov also commented Sunday's attack against cadets from the National Military University. The Defence Ministry reported on Monday that the attack was perpetrated by a Roma man with an extensive criminal record.

He said that this is yet another case that proves there is a problem in society, adding that he has already drafted an Integration Strategy, which is to be submitted to the Council of Ministers. The ghettoes have to be demolished for integration to happen, because people there must live together with everyone else, he said. According to him, it is the local authorities that exercise control over illegal construction and the emergence of such ghettoes, as well as the education system in the relevant authority.

Source: Sofia