Slovak PM on Romani settlements: Incentivize employment, no tolerance for disorder
News server WebNoviny.sk has reported that at last week's cabinet session in the town of Svidník, Slovak Prime Minister Peter Pellegrini said he does not intend to tolerate disorder in the country's Romani-inhabited settlements. The PM is demanding proposals from cabinet ministers on how to ensure security and uphold order and what he called "decent behavior" in the settlements.
At the same time the PM said he is counting on positive measures to ensure Romani people enjoy improved access both to education and the labor market. "We are tolerating the people who live in those settlements in illegal dwellings built on privately-held land, but we cannot tolerate the disorder that is there. For that reason I am asking the members of this Government to propose how we can at least ensure waste disposal in those communities. We must maintain at least an elementary sense of order. It is not possible that tourists on their way to visiting Slovak Paradise have to come across these heaps of plastic bottles and other stuff. I believe the Government will find a way to pay for the technical means, the dumpsters or disposal, but they cannot expect us to clean up the mess they have made around their settlements," he said after the Government took note of a Monitoring Report on the fulfillment of the Strategy of the Slovak Republic for Integration of Roma up to 2020.
In addition to measures that will be intended to coerce Romani settlement residents to keep things in order locally, the PM said he wants to contribute to positive changes in the areas of education and employment. "However, this will always happen in combination with positive measures - creating enough places in the preschools, increasing the capacities of primary schools, or designing circumstances to motivate our firms to employ Romani people. The firms have already demonstrated their willingness and we will be looking for opportunities to reward those who employ Romani people for more than 12 months," the PM said.
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