BUCHAREST, Romania - About 100 Roma have protested a proposal to use the term "Gypsy" in official documents in Romania when referring to their ethnic group.
Lawmaker Silviu Prigoana argued that "Roma" was too close to Romanian, causing confusion. The move has the backing of the Romanian Academy.
The Romanian government is discussing the issue.
Roma leader Nicolae Gheorghe said Tuesday that using "Gypsy" would lead to fear of repression. About 25,000 Roma were deported from Romania during World War II, based solely on their ethnicity. Gheorghe called for international mediation on the issue.
"Gypsy" can have negative connotations in Romania where discrimination is widespread against the group.
Romania has an estimated 1.5 million Roma, but official figures put that number at 500,000.