Incidents with Sofia Emergency Teams 'Not Related to Roma'
Incidents involving attacks on emergency medical teams do not necessarily involve Roma communities, Sofia emergency aid head Georgi Gelev has warned.
He told the Bulgarian National Television that some of the assaults were related to excessive drinking or other problems.
Gelev's comments come a day after new rules were enforced about emergency teams. As of Monday doctors, paramedics and ambulance drivers cannot be deployed to Roma neighborhoods unless their safety is guaranteed by local officials.
Health Minister Petar Moskov, who recently introduced the measure, also defended in on Thursday. In an interview with private national channel bTV he said he would "not backtrack" and allow violence against doctors and medical staff.
"A society is bound to achieve mechanisms against antisocial action," he declared.
"In some of these ghettos there is no state. Restoring statehood comes through certain actions. If being poor allow one to beat up others, what will happen to pensioners," Moskov added.
However, he refuted claims he had been referring exclusively to Roma people: "I do not have in mind just Roma neighborhoods. What I said was that two-thirds of the attacks [on doctors] were there."
The minister's earlier remarks sparked the anger of officials from human rights organizations. Lili Makaveeva, who works at Association Integro, told the Bulgarian National Radio that the state institutions had chosen to "abdicate Roma neighborhoods".
"Roma neighborhoods are not enclaves. In enclaves no laws are in force... In Roma neighborhoods there is anomy of which nobody wants to talk and take a stance. It is much more important to us to have the systemic reasons leading to this situation established," Makaveeva said.
In her words, Moskov's actions are deviating attention from the core issues in the sector.
Others, like political scientis Ognyan Minchev, believe Moskov is "doing it right", taking measures that his predecessors had been too cautious about.
Roma representatives have said they are ready for dialogue with Moskov and would like to offer alternative solutions.
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Well enclaves do exist and they are Roma enclaves for lawlessness is winning were they Roma fill house after house in villages around Bulgaria.
The authorities make a mockery out of our own constitution and how as food becomes more expensive people will regret why they gave up a family home to the squatters that terrorised their parents probable to death. That is the real Bulgaria, that is what is happening today.