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European Roma and Travellers Forum needs to have a clear position on conflict of interest

Bucharest, 20.2.2010 15:33, (ROMEA)

"Naturally, we have some physiological problems of criminality within some of the Romanian communities, especially among the Romanian citizens of Roma ethnicity" - Teodor Baconschi, Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs

This declaration is to be found in a press release on the website of Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs [1] from February 11, 2010. There would be people who would argue that Mr. Baconschi believes in biological racism as his declaration seems to link biology, criminality and ethnicity. One might even expect his next sentence to be about the vital space of the pure Romanians - Romania generated one of the most radical nazi movements in Europe during the 1930-ties. A number of Romanian NGOs including this one has asked Mr Baconschi to resign.

Teodor Baconschi is a career diplomat and has a Roma – Mr Gheorghe Raducanu as his counsellor. As Mr Raducanu holds a high level position - Secretary General - within the European Roma and Travellers Forum an organisation which is rightly very vocal against anti-Gypsyism, our organisation requests that ERTF makes clear its positions regarding the racist statement of minister Baconschi and to request Mr. Raducanu to resign either from positions hold within ERTF or from his position as counsellor for the Romanian MFA.

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