Monday, November 29, 2010

AP: Romania's foreign minister found guilty of discriminatory remarks on the Roma

BUCHAREST, Romania - Romania's anti-discrimination board has ruled that the country's foreign minister was guilty of discriminatory remarks about the Roma, or Gypsy population.

The board's chairman Csaba Astalosz said Friday the minister will receive the mildest sanction, a recommendation, and not a warning or a fine.

In February, Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi said "we have some physiological, natural problems of criminality among some of the Romanian communities" in France, "especially among the Roma."

The ministry denied that the comments had a racist tone, saying Baconschi tried to imply there was a certain "natural" rate of criminality within any group of immigrants.

Romania has an estimated 1.5 million Roma, most of them living in poverty and facing discrimination.

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