Press release - 815(2008)

Council of Europe Secretary General: Intolerance against Roma in Europe is on the rise

Strasbourg, 18.11.2008 - 70 years almost to the day after the Kristallnacht marked the beginning of the Holocaust, a stone throwing mob tried to attack a Roma suburb in the Czech city of Litvinov. The analogy only goes so far. In 1938 the attacks by the storm troopers were orchestrated by the Nazi regime, and it would be totally wrong to draw any parallels with the Czech Republic where the authorities are doing everything they can to prevent these attacks against the Roma.

I congratulate the Czech authorities on their determination in stopping the violence and also express my solidarity with the policemen who were wounded by the mob. At the same time we must recognise that this incident took place against the background of increasing intolerance and violence against Roma people in Europe. All Governments across Europe also need to look urgently at the situation of the Roma communities in their countries and act decisively to protect them against discrimination, intolerance and violence.

Council of Europe Press Division
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 25 60
Fax:+33 (0)3 88 41 39 11