Budapest (MTI) – The opposition Democratic Coalition (DK) has called on Justice Minister Laszlo Trocsanyi to apologise after comments he is reported as having made yesterday that the Roma might radicalise.
The Justice Ministry has denied Trocsanyi made the remarks attributed to him.
Addressing a conference on “criminal justice in response to radicalisation” in Brussels on Monday, the website euobserver.com cited Trocsanyi saying: “There is a risk that they [the Roma] would end up in Syria as foreign fighters joining jihadists or other radical groups”.
After discussing the European Union’s framework strategy on Roma integration, Trocsanyi is reported as saying that Europe’s population of some 10-12 million Roma are lagging behind, and it is important to close the social gap as they may become victims of radicalisation.
DK’s deputy leader, MEP Peter Niedermuller, told a press conference in Brussels on Tuesday that high-ranking EU officials had told him that Trocsanyi had “stirred a scandal” with his remarks.
“This kind of reasoning is not only plucked from thin air but is politically wrong and morally unacceptable,” Niedermuller said.
He said there is no sign of any kind of radicalisation among the Roma population. Roma are subjected to grave discrimination throughout Europe on labour markets, in education and health care, he said. “These people are victims,” he said, adding that Trocsanyi should be working to create legal equality and working against Roma segregation in education instead of stigmatising them.
The opposition Egyutt party called for Trocsanyi’s resignation over his remarks, while the Justice Ministry said in a statement that the website euobserver.com had “lied” and its report on Trocsanyi was “completely baseless”.
Photo: MTI (cover: Justice Minister Laszlo Trocsanyi)