Alleged Ethnic Tensions Eased in Bulgarian Town after Stabbing Incident
Bulgarian officials claim to have succeeded in calming the inhabitants of Samokov, following the stabbing on Wednesday of a Roma teenager.
The Bulgarian Interior Ministry has announced that security has been maintained, and that any tensions between the Bulgarian and Roma communities have been defused.
After meeting with Roma leaders in Samokov on Thursday, Kalin Georgiev, Secretary-General of the Interior Ministry (MVR), said: “I see no reasons for adding fuel to the fire. During our talks, none of the Roma leaders allowed himself to say the words ‘revenge’ or ‘blood for blood’.”
He said that the stabbing incident had instead been a matter of hooliganism, a conflict between teenagers.
“With the Roma leaders we talked about ethnic tolerance, about understanding, about the fact that we are all part of one family and about the problems of the Roma,” he added.
Asked about the security situation in the local schools, Georgiev replied that this had been over-exaggerated. He stated that the normal levels of security were adequate, with no need for the deployment of any special forces.
"I think that the problem is calmed down now and we have to give it time to fade away. To me the most important thing is not to allow an over- exposure of the conflict - which does not have an ethnic character. Samokov is a cultural and tourist center and we should not, through our actions, lower the reputation of the resort," he said.
Meantime, the leader of Evroroma Party, Tsvetelin Kanchev, confirmed that: “In Samokov, there is no tension between Bulgarians and Roma. This tension has been artificially created.”
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