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May 18, 2022



Slovak Prime Minister refers to Romani people as "Gypsies" during media appearances

2.2.2017 7:24
Robert Fico (PHOTO: Xmetov)
Robert Fico (PHOTO: Xmetov)

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico spoke during last Sunday's debate on the TA3 news station about Romani people, referring to them as "Gypsies". He was discussing the fact that firms today have a problem finding employees in Slovakia.

"We are living in a country where we are feeling an absolute lack of a workforce. We are coming up on some districts where there is 18 % unemployment, but business people cannot manage to find even three unqualified people who would want to work. On the other hand, we have a category of people here, and I am not speaking just about Gypsies, who do not want to work, who abuse the social welfare system, and who even bother the people next to whom they live. We are intervening against the people who are sucking this state dry," the PM said.

According to news server, Fico used the same expression the day before during Slovak Radio's "Saturday Dialogues" program, where he said: "It's all the same to me whether this is about welfare abuse by Gypsies or somebody else. It's one and the same thing."

According to, the PM's new vocabulary could be connected to the fact that in December, at the convention of his Smer party in Prešov, he announced that 2017 would be the end of political correctness. At that same event, he bore down on the Romani community in a significant way, speaking of Romani people as welfare abusers and declaring that he would support the police in their interventions into Romani settlements.

Prior to Fico's Sunday appearance, Slovak President Andrej Kiska also spoke on the Sunday program. He warned against the vocabulary being used by people posting to online social networks and by politicians.

"Hate speech has always been at the beginning of Europe's greatest tragedies. When we begin to use hatred against other nationalities, nations, and races, we are crossing over onto very dangerous ground that can lead to tragedies," Kiska said.

bau, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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