Hungarian public works plan 'terrorising' Roma: NGO
Hungary’s government will launch a major public works programme in January but in the village of Gyongyospata, the project is being used to terrorise the Roma minority, rights groups charge.
The small village in northeastern Hungary whose mayor Oszkar Juhasz comes from the anti-Roma Jobbik party already gained notoriety earlier this year after a far-right militia began patrols to “restore order”.
In August, the mayor launched a customised version of a government scheme aimed at getting the unemployed back to work employing about 80 locals, predominantly of Roma origin.
“The government’s public works programme is a shame in itself, paying 47,000 forints (152 euros, $205) per month for eight hours of work daily, not enough to live on,” Peter Juhasz, of the NGO Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, told AFP.
“But what makes it especially harmful in Gyongyospata is the attitude of the municipality.” “They use the public works programme as a means to terrorise the Roma minority.”
The populist centre-right government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban has slashed unemployment benefits to around 80,000 forint (280 euro, $377) per month, to be paid out only for 90 days instead of a previous 270, provided applicants participate in public works.
Sample projects of the much criticised scheme were launched in several settlements, but the situation is especially grim in Gyongyospata, with workers subjected to rigorous checks and unjustified harassment during and after work.
(source: The New Age)
Friendly warning: my browser flags the link to the New Age original as potentially dangerous, but you can read the article in full at the excellent Aj, Rromale! Tumblr.