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The EU must do more to recognise and remember the victims of the Roma Holocaust and tackle the continuing discrimination Roma people face in Europe today; that was the call from the S&D Group ahead of the European Parliament's Roma Week.

MEP Soraya Post, S&D spokesperson for Roma issues, said:

“With the rise of the extreme right across the globe it is more important than ever that we recognise the impact the Holocaust on the Roma community. At least 500,000 Roma people were exterminated during WWII. In some countries, this represented 80% of the Roma community.

“It is simply unbelievable that Roma Holocaust victims were not formally recognised until 1983. This failure to remember contributes to continuing anti-gypsyism in our societies. Europe must finally acknowledge the depth of the problem and take steps to compensate victims and tackle the discrimination thousands of Roma face today.”

S&D vice-president Tanja Fajon MEP added:

“One in every three Roma child goes to bed hungry at least once a month and 30% of Roma households do not have access to running water. That this is happening in 2017, in Europe, is a disgrace.

“We need to stop treating the discrimination Roma face as a secondary issue. In light of the end of the Commission's Roma Integration Strategy in 2020, we must put improving the lives of thousands of Roma European citizens at the heart of the EU's work.”

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