Roma People in Garmen Plead for Peace Following Ethnic Tensions
The Roma population in the Garmen municipality have stated their conviction that they are living in peace and harmony with the rest of the citizens in the region. They commented on the tensions in the neighborhood of Kremikovtsi.
''For so many years, we - the Roma people, Bulgarians and pomaks have been living together and we never had problems before,'' said people from the minority. ''We are getting along quite well with the Bulgarians, they have a problem with us. They want to chase us away from here for many years now, but if we were stealing, we would have had police records.''
When asked about the fact that they have been living in illegal buildings, Roma representatives responded that they don't have an official legal permit.
''We have paid for everything though,'' they added. '' It was BGN 1000 per piece of land. It's all legalized. We will also be paying for electricity and water if we get them from the municipality.''
According to preliminary information on the case, over 120 Roma people have inhabited the municipality above the village of Marchevo over the past several years. More than 177 children have been born in the period.
Tensions in the region escalated after three people were hurt in a mass beating between Roma people and the rest of the people living in the village. Citizens of Garmen have stated that they will be protesting every day against theft and lack of laws in the municipality, and a mass protest is scheduled on June 2. They have also continuously expressed their dissatisfaction with government reactions and proposed plan for action.
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