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Roma (Gypsies) face starvation in the slums of Slovakia [View All]

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kskiska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-28-04 10:43 PM
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Roma (Gypsies) face starvation in the slums of Slovakia
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Gypsies loot supermarkets as government slashes benefits and fails to offer jobs

Dressed in thin pullovers and baggy trousers, half a dozen children gather outside on the trash-strewn street to watch hungrily as two older children spoon a semolina pudding out of plastic bowls.

A grandmother, wearing a red headscarf as protection against the chill wind that blows across the east Slovakian steppe, stands chatting to neighbours in the osady or settlement where the Roma community lives in abandoned houses and wooden shacks, without water, electricity or sewers.

Because almost none of the adults who live here can find a job, they have plenty of time to discuss the government's latest cuts in benefits and how to avoid starvation.

Last Saturday 200 Roma - gypsies - left this settlement in eastern Slovakia, reminiscent of a Third World slum, and walked across the muddy fields, past neat cottages, to the centre of the town of Trhoviste. Reaching the co-op supermarket, they broke the windows, forced their way into the shop and left with armloads of merchandise, yelling as if it was a slogan: 'We want to eat!'.

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