Editorial

UPDATE Procurorii l-au eliberat pe liderul Naţionaliştilor Autonomi din Timişoara

Naţionaliştii Autonomi Timişoara numără aproximativ 30 de membri, iar principalul vizat al acţiunii a fost liderul organizaţiei. Parchetul a deschis vineri un dosar penal pentru promovarea ideologiei fasciste, rasiste ori xenofobe, prin propagandă, săvârşită prin orice mijloace, în public.

“La aceste descinderi participă şi procurorul, dar nu au fost făcute publice adresele la care s-au dus. Intenţia este ca, membrii grupării să fie aduşi Parchetul de pe lângă Judecătoria Timişoara”, a declarat Mădălina Mezdrea, purtător de cuvânt la IPJ Timiş.

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Poliţiştii timişoreni au reţinut un bărbat de 36 de ani, suspectat că a postat mesaje rasiste. Procurorii de la Parchetul de pe lângă Judecătoria Timişoara îl vor audia pe suspect, pentru a stabili dacă se face vinovat de ceva postări de mesaje rasiste

După mai multe ore de audieri, procurorii l-au lăsat liber pe presupusul lider al Naţionaliştilor Autonomi din Timişoara, reţinut pentru promovare de idelologii fasciste, rasiste şi xenofobe. Se pare că este vorba de un profesor de istorie, care însă nu profesa în ultima vreme. Procurorii vor continua cercetările în acest caz, ei reţinând un computer şi mai multe cărţi din casa extremistului.

A fost făcută o percheziţie la domiciliul unei persoane suspectată a fi implicată în publicarea pe siteul organizaţiei Naţionalişti Autonomi din Timişoara, a unui anunţ în care se afirmă că oferă 300 de lei fiecărei femei de etnise rromă din zona Banatului, care prezintă un act medical din care rezultă că s-a supus voluntar unei operaţii de sterilizare efectuată în anul 2013.

“În urma percheziţiei au fost ridicate mai multe bunuri printre şi o unitate centrală de calculator. Cercetările continuă în vederea lămuririi tuturor împrejurărilor de fapt şi stabilirii răspunderii penale. În instrumentarea cauzei procurorii au beneficiat de suportul informativ şi tehnic al SRI”, a declarat Ionela Bălan, prim procuror la Parchetul de pe lângă Judecătoria Timişoara.

Dacă va fi găsit vinovat, bărbatul audiat poate fi condamnat la închisoare de la şase luni la cinci ani.

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Editorial

Romanian probe on call to sterilise Roma women

Romanian prosecutors have opened an investigation after a local extremist group launched a call to sterilise Roma women.

The probe targets the offence of “promoting fascist and racist ideology”, prosecutors from the western town of Timisoara.

NAT88, a nationalist and extremist group based in Timisoara, announced on its website that it would hand “a reward worth 300 lei to each Gypsy woman (a pejorative term in Romanian) from the region of Banat that shows a medical document proving that she voluntarily underwent sterilisation in 2013.”

Three Romanian rights groups condemned the call and asked prosecutors to open an investigation.

“Sterilising women belonging to an ethnic group is a serious attack on that group and on society generally, regardless of the way this is promoted,” the Elie Wiesel Institute, Romania’s main NGO fighting for Roma rights, Romani Criss, and the Centre for Combating Anti-Semitism (MCA) said in a joint statement.

Romania is home to the biggest Roma community in Europe, numbering 620,000 according to the latest census but up to two million, according to its leaders. Most live in poverty and suffer from severe discrimination in employment and health care.

The Roma Center for Social Intervention and Studies – Romani CRISS, MCA Romania – The Center for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism in Romania and the National Institute for Holocaust Studies “Elie Wiesel” strongly condemn the extremist manifestation of an extremist group in Timisoara, recently published on the blog.

Statements such as the one published in a recent post: “We offer a 300 lei reward1 to each Gypsy woman in Banat area, who can present a medical document to prove she was voluntarily sterilized in 2013. If they cannot educate their offspring in order to avoid being a burden for the Romanian society, we GUARANTEE 300 lei for the voluntary sterilization made in 2013. The offer is very serious, and those interested can contact the Autonomous Nationalists by email”.

Or publishing objectives such as:
solving urgently the Gypsy issue; preservation of the racial genotype, the genetic patrimony inherited from our ancestors, as part of our identity, erasing the guiltiness cult on the so-called “holocaust”, which allegedly took place in Transnistria, stopping the courses on “holocaust” in public schools until that period is objectively clarified, total opposition to multiculturalism and crossbreeding”, fall under the Criminal Code and the Emergency Government Ordinance no 31/2002.

We condemn the recrudescence of the extremist phenomenon, which is incompatible to fundamental values that build a democratic society. The sterilization of women who belong to an ethnic group, regardless how this measure is promoted, represents a serious threat both against the members of that particular group, as well as against the entire society.

We emphasize that, recently, the European Court of Human Rights has condemned Slovakia (in 2011, respectively 2012, the V.C. and N.B. versus Slovakia decisions) for the sterilization of Roma women, holding that articles 3 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (prohibition of inhumane and degrading treatment and right to respect for private and family life).

We urge the Romanian institutions to put into practice any legal measures in order to make such extremist and discriminatory statements impossible to publish. They represent a serious threat against the democratic values and principles.

Romani CRISS and MCA Romania organizations will file a complaint in front of the Prosecutor’s Office with regard to this initiative of supporting the sterilization of Roma women.

Marian Mandache (Romani CRISS), Maximilian Katz (MCA Romania), Elisabeth Ungureanu (INHSHR-“Elie Wiesel”)

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Sursa – www.adevarul.ro

O organizaţie naţionalistă din Timişoara le-a oferit 300 de lei femeilor de etnie rromă pentru a fi de acord să se supună voluntar unei operaţii de sterilizare. Procurorii le-au întocmit dosare penale membrilor mişcării.

Romeo Tiberiade, preşedintele Alianeţi Civice Democarte a Romilor din Craiova, a declarat că iniţiativa organizaţiei din Timişoara are caracter rasist şi instigă la ură.

„A generaliza un eveniment nedorit este ca şi cum ai spune, de exemplu, că toţi germanii sunt rasişti, doar pentu că a existat Hitler cândva. Cred că acea mişcare de la Timişoara a luat în derâdere însăşi ideea de a naşte şi sensul cuvântului “mamă”. Evident că afirmaţiile lor sunt rasiste iar intervenţia instituţiilor de drept era mai mult decât obligatorie”, a spus Tiberiade.

300 de lei pentru operaţia de sterilizare

„Dacă nu-şi pot educa progeniturile pentru a nu mai fi o povară a societăţii româneşti, noi le oferim GARANTAT 300 de lei pentru operaţia de sterilizare voluntară efectuată în anul 2013. Oferta este cât se poate de serioasă”, spune comunicatul afişat pe site-ul organizaţiei.

Au fost întocmite dosare penale

Procurorii de la Parchetul de pe lângă Judecătoria Timişoara, dar şi poliţiştii de la Serviciul de Investigaţii Criminale  le-au întocmit dosare penale membrilor grupării din Timişoara care a anunţat că este gata să le ofere femeilor de etnie romă câte 300 de lei dacă vor să fie sterlizate. Aceştia sunt sunt cercetaţi pentru săvârşirea infracţiunii prevăzute de art.5 din Ordonanţa de Urgenţă a Guvernului nr.31/2002, ce incriminează fapta de promovare a ideologiei fasciste, rasiste ori xenofobe, prin propagandă, săvârşită prin orice mijloace, în public.

Naţionaliştii Autonomi Timişoara sunt, după propria descriere, o “grupare radical-politica a tineretului”. Printre obiectivele listate în programul grupării se numără “unificarea României dupa modelul german”, “rezolvarea urgentă a problemei ţigăneşti”, “conservarea genotipului rasial, a patrimoniului genetic moştenit de la strămoşii noştri”, “desfiinţarea cultului vinovăţiei legat de aşa-numitul «holocaust» care ar fi avut loc in Transnistria” sau “eliminarea capitalismului (a pieţei libere în general) şi înlocuirea acestuia prin naţionalsocialism (comunitatea poporului)”.

Mai multe organizaţii din România condamnă atitudinea grupării Naţionaliştii Autonomi Timişoara, care a anunţat că oferă 300 de lei fiecărei femei rome care vine cu dovada medicală a sterilizării.

Centrul Romilor pentru Intervenţie Socială şi Studii – Romani CRISS,  Centrul pentru Monitorizarea şi Combaterea Antisemitismului din România (MCA), alături de Institutul Naţional pentru Studierea Holocaustului din România “Elie Wiesel” condamnă cu vehemenţă manifestarile NAT şi consideră că sterilizarea femeilor rome este un atentat grav la valorile fundamentale ale democraţiei.

„Condamnăm recrudescenţa fenomenului extremist, fenomen incompatibil cu valorile fundamentale pe care le constituie o societate democratică. Sterilizarea femeilor aparţinând unui grup etnic, indiferent de  modul în care se promovează acest demers, constituie un atentat grav atât la adresa membrilor grupului în cauză, precum şi la adresa societăţii în ansamblul său”, spune comunicatul semnat de Marian Mandache (Romani CRISS), Maximilian Katz (MCA România) şi Elisabeth Ungureanu (Institutul “Elie Wiesel”).

Textul aminteşte faptul că, recent, Curtea Europeană a Drepturilor Omului a condamnat Slovacia pentru sterilizarea unor femei rome, apreciindu-se că s-au încălcat două articole din Convenţia Europeană a Drepturilor Omului, articole care se referă la interzicerea tratamentelor inumane şi degradante şi dreptul la respectarea vieţii private şi de familie.

“Solicităm instituţiilor abilitate ale statului să dispună toate măsurile legale pentru ca astfel de postări extremiste şi discriminatorii să nu mai fie posibile. Acestea reprezintă un grav atentat la valorile şi principiile democraţiei”, mai spun semnatarii protestului. Organizaţiile Romani CRISS şi MCA România vor sesiza Parchetul cu privire la această iniţiativă de susţinere a sterilizării femeilor. Identificarea celor responsabili cu răspândirea mesajului condamnat nu va fi un lucru uşor, pentru că membrii organizaţiei Naţionaliştii Autonomi pun mare preţ pe anonimitate.

Imediat după ce cazul a început să facă vâlvă, inclusiv în presa internațională, blogul campaniei a dispărut, accesul la site a fost restricționat, dar polițiștii vor să identifice calculatorul de pe care au fost făcute postările.

Potrivit ONG-urilor, nicio femeie romă nu a răspuns, totuși, ofertei făcute de organizația naționalistă și nu s-a prezentat pentru a încasa banii și a fi sterilizată.

Poliția se află în prezent la domiciliul tânărului care a inițiat campania, dar foarte probabil ancheta se va extinde și vor fi audiați și alți membri ai organizațației naționaliste.

Procurorii de la Parchetul de pe lângă Judecătoria Timişoara au deschis o anchetă, membrii grupării fiind cercetaţi pentru promovarea ideologiei fasciste, rasiste ori xenofobe, prin propagandă publică. Infracţiunea se pedepseste cu închisoare de la 3 luni la 3 ani şi interzicerea unor drepturi. Naţionaliştii autonomi riscă şi amenzi de până la 8.000 de lei din partea Consiliului Naţional petnru Combaterea Discriminării.

Ce scria pe blog

Președintele Consiliului Național pentru Combaterea Discriminării, Csaba Ferenc Asztalos, declara joi pentru Mediafax că instituţia pe care o conduce analizează situaţia legată de oferirea unei recompense femeilor rome care se sterilizează şi încearcă să îi identifice pe autorii postării materialului pe blog.

Gruparea Naţionaliştii Autonomi din Timişoara a postat pe blog un mesaj în care se arăta că se oferă „o recompensă de 300 de lei fiecărei femei ţigănci, din zona Banatului, ce poate prezenta un act medical care să dovedească că s-a supus voluntar unei operaţii de sterilizare în anul 2013. Dacă nu-şi pot educa progeniturile pentru a nu mai fi o povară a societăţii româneşti, noi le oferim GARANTAT 300 de lei pentru operaţia de sterilizare voluntară efectuată în anul 2013. Oferta este cât se poate de serioasă, iar cele interesate sunt aşteptate să ia legătura prin e-mail cu Naţionaliştii Autonomi“, se arăta în anunţul postat pe blog, citat într-un comunicat de presă al mai multor ONG-uri.

Organizațiile Romani Criss şi Centrul pentru Monitorizarea şi Combaterea Antisemitismului din România (MCA România) au spus că vor sesiza Parchetul Tribunalului Timiş în cazul anunţului postat pe blogul Naţionaliştilor Autonomi din Timişoara.

Pe acelaşi blog, cu acces restricţionat, „deschis doar cititorilor invitaţi”, gruparea ar mai fi postat şi obiective precum „rezolvarea urgentă a problemei ţigăneşti; conservarea genotipului rasial, a patrimoniului genetic moştenit de la strămoşii noştri, ca parte integrantă a identităţii noastre; desfiinţarea cultului vinovăţiei legat de aşa-numitul «holocaust» care ar fi avut loc în Transnistria, oprirea predării despre «holocaust» în şcolile publice până la clarificarea obiectivă a acelei perioade ; opoziţie totală faţă de multiculturalism şi metisaj”, relatează Mediafax.

ONG-urile au precizat că judecătorii Curţii Europeane a Drepturilor Omului au condamnat Slovacia, în 2011 şi 2012, pentru sterilizarea unor femei rome, apreciindu-se că s-au încălcat articolele 3 şi 8 din Convenţia Europeană a Drepturilor Omului, privind interzicerea tratamentelor inumane şi degradante şi dreptul la respectarea vieţii private şi de familie.

Liderii grupării susţin că iniţiativa lor nu încalcă legea

„Premiem femeile țigănci care au făcut deja o sterilizare voluntară, nu le impunem nimic. Ar trebui să se simtă, eventual, discriminate femeile nețigănci, pentru că nu primesc și ele o asemenea recompensă. Trăim într-un climat nesigur, din cauza infracționalității violente a clanurilor țigănești”,spun Nationalistii Autonomi.

De altfel, avocaţii atrag atenţia că simpla postare a anunţului nu atrage automat răspunderea penală.

„Felul în care s-a prezentat situația pe internet și oferta persoanei respective trebuie analizată cu mare atenție, pentru că dacă nu manifestă o ură clară față de cineva sau dacă nu instigă pe cineva față de altă etnie, atunci nu suntem în situația de instigare la rasism și sunt doar afirmații și elemente care nu intră în cadrul unei infracțiuni. Drept urmare, oferta persoanei respective general facută nu suscită la acel moment interpretarea întrunirii condițiilor de rasism ”, a explicat avocatul Cristian Ene.

Naţionaliştii autonomi spun că banii oferiţi provin de la părintele unui băiat desfigurat în bătaie de o bandă de infractori romi.

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Editorial

We’re on our way to Britain – The Daily Mail, UK

It is so obvious to see this kind of language when you read The Daily Mail. I hardly wait to read it and see how the paper portraites this story…Are you ready????? Let´s…

A year from now up to 29m Bulgarians and Romanians will have the right to settle in Britain and claim benefits. And these gypsies in the slums of Sofia can hardly wait…

Olympic boxer Bobby George stands on an icy street in the Bulgarian shanty town where he grew up.

A cruel wind whips his dark hair as snow falls on the chaotic rows of shacks which are home to 50,000 of the European Union’s poorest inhabitants.

Plunging his freezing hands into his thin leather jacket, he says despairingly: ‘There is nothing for my gipsy people here.

 
Boxer Boris Georgiev in his home town Faculteta, a Roma gypsy town on the outskirts of Sofia. Boris (also known as Bobby George) has lived in Luton since 2009 with his wife Tina and his two young children
 
Boxer Boris Georgiev in his home town Fakulteta, a Roma gypsy town on the outskirts of Sofia. Boris (also known as Bobby George) has lived in Luton since 2007 with his wife Tina and his two young children
 
The shanty town of Fakulteta, Bulgaria. The main supermarket - the owner is himself a gipsy - has stopped all credit because of the debts racked up for unpaid groceries
 
The shanty town of Fakulteta, Bulgaria. The main supermarket – the owner is himself a gipsy – has stopped all credit because of the debts racked up for unpaid groceries
Three men ride a horse and carriage around Faculteta, Bulgaria. Many from the town have already moved to England
 
Three men ride a horse and carriage around Faculteta, Bulgaria. Many from the town have already moved to England

Their eyes are turning to England where they can have a better life. Hundreds of families want to go to the UK because they have no future in my country.’

George is lucky. Five years ago, he changed his name from Boris Georgiev and left the seedy slum of Fakulteta, on the outskirts of the Bulgarian capital Sofia, to settle in Luton, Beds, with his wife, Tina, and daughter, Gergana, now six.

They have since had another daughter, one-year-old Mari.

A couple of weeks ago he returned on a cut-price flight for Christmas and found nothing much has changed.

Growling stray dogs chase each other down alleyways, rats scamper over piles of rubbish, and children in slippers, long outgrown with their backs cut out, dodge horse-drawn gipsy carts as they run to the few shops for a 40p loaf of bread.

The Sofia bus route does not reach Fakulteta because the drivers refuse to go there, as do the rubbish collection men. At night, the place is pitched into darkness because there is no street lighting.

The Sofia bus route does not reach Fakulteta because the drivers refuse to go there, as do the rubbish collection men
 
The Sofia bus route does not reach Fakulteta because the drivers refuse to go there, as do the rubbish collection men
 
Last year, 40,000 Bulgarians and Romanians moved to the UK, joining 130,000 of their countrymen who have settled here during the past decade
 
Last year, 40,000 Bulgarians and Romanians moved to the UK, joining 130,000 of their countrymen who have settled here during the past decade

The only indication that the city authorities recognise the huge gipsy town’s existence is the electricity meter boxes bolted tightly to the tops of telegraph poles so they cannot be tampered with by residents.

The main supermarket — the owner is himself a gipsy — has stopped all credit because of the debts racked up for unpaid groceries.

No wonder that in a year’s time, when a total of 29 million Bulgarians (and Romanians) gain the right to live, work, and claim state benefits in Britain under EU ‘freedom of movement’ rules, a great many families from Fakulteta plan to decamp the 1,250 miles to the UK.

‘The gipsies have no jobs because ordinary Bulgarians do not like or trust us,’ explains Bobby George.

‘We are discriminated against as gipsy people. In Britain it is different. You treat everyone, black, white, brown or yellow, just the same. Of course, they will want to go.

 
 
Growling stray dogs are rife in Fakulteta, as children in slippers, long outgrown with their backs cut out, play in the streets
 
 
 
Growling stray dogs are rife in Fakulteta, as children in slippers, long outgrown with their backs cut out, play in the streets
 

Growling stray dogs are rife in Fakulteta, as children in slippers, long outgrown with their backs cut out, play in the streets

 
It is estimated that 2,000 children from Romania and Bulgaria are under the control of modern-day Fagins in our major cities

‘But there will be a day when your country is full up, when you cannot afford to give benefits to any more people from Europe and the rest of the world, too. They hope to get there before that moment happens.’

Bobby, a good-looking 30-year-old with a pugilist’s nose, is probably right about Britain nearing its limits.

The latest Census, published this month, reveals how mass immigration has dramatically changed our country. Since EU borders were opened up in 2004, 1,114,368 Eastern Europeans have uprooted to live in England.

Last year, 40,000 Bulgarians and Romanians moved to the UK, joining 130,000 of their countrymen who have settled here during the past decade.

But these numbers are nothing compared with the flood of migrants expected when the rules change in a little over a year’s time.

Since EU borders were opened up in 2004, 1,114,368 Eastern Europeans have uprooted to live in England
 
Since EU borders were opened up in 2004, 1,114,368 Eastern Europeans have uprooted to live in England

Until now, migrants from the two former communist nations (officially barred from working or claiming benefits in Britain until the freedom of movement rule comes in on January 1, 2014) have neatly exploited a gaping loophole in the EU rules.

It allows Bulgarians and Romanians claiming to be self-employed to get a British national insurance number and a raft of hand-outs, including housing and child benefit.

Many of the new arrivals have worked hard, cornering the market in car-wash companies, for instance.

But others are less industrious,  and include Roma gipsies who, remarkably, now sell a third of all copies of the Big Issue.

Even selling one copy a week of the magazine (created to help the British homeless) miraculously gives them self-employed status and allows them to beg with impunity outside shops and on street corners.

Bulgarian and Romanian incomers have been blamed by police in their own countries and in Britain for a massive rise in organised crime, including the trafficking of children to Britain to beg, pickpocket, milk state benefits and even enter the sex trade.

In a year's time, when a total of 29 million Bulgarians (and Romanians) gain the right to live, work, and claim state benefits in Britain under EU 'freedom of movement' rules, a great many families from Fakulteta plan to decamp the 1,250 miles to the UK
 
In a year’s time, when a total of 29 million Bulgarians (and Romanians) gain the right to live, work, and claim state benefits in Britain under EU ‘freedom of movement’ rules, a great many families from Fakulteta plan to decamp the 1,250 miles to the UK

It is estimated that 2,000 children from Romania and Bulgaria are under the control of modern-day Fagins in our major cities.

According to Scotland Yard, a skilful child thief can make up to £100,000 a year ‘working’ on the streets, buses and Tubes in London — cash that is sent back to Roma villages and towns at home.

So critical is the problem that Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister visited Britain earlier this month to meet Home Secretary Theresa May to discuss how child trafficking and other organised crimes can be controlled when the UK doors swing open yet more widely.

Meanwhile, Antoaneta Vassileva, head of Bulgaria’s National Commission for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, warns that the UK is now the EU hot-spot for Roma child pickpockets from her country — a problem that will almost certainly get worse when the rules change in a year’s time.

In Sofia, she explained to me: ‘The children are trained by their parents, or another relative, to be thieves.

 
Bobby George, with his sporting talent and determination to succeed, is proof that many migrants wish only to strive hard and provide for their families
 
Bobby George, with his sporting talent and determination to succeed, is proof that many migrants wish only to strive hard and provide for their families
 
Bobby won a bronze medal for Bulgaria as a light welterweight in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. After turning professional, he left for the UK
 
Bobby won a bronze medal for Bulgaria as a light welterweight in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games (pictured, in blue, in a preliminary bout). After turning professional, he left for the UK

They know no other life but begging and stealing. They come from Roma gipsy communities where there is no work. When a Bulgarian child is offered the chance to go to London to pickpocket, he wants to do it.’

She said the children — some aged only 11 — are trafficked into Britain by their own families or by gang-masters pretending to be their real parents.

Even if a child pickpocket is caught by police, then handed over to British social services and put into a foster home, they invariably escape back to a world of crime.

‘After one or two days they run away from foster care. The Bulgarian gang-master in England will contact the child by mobile phone and still has control over him,’ said Ms Vassileva.

 
The attitude among the poor of places such as Fakulteta is that Britain is a land where benefits flow like milk and honey is commonplace
 
The attitude among the poor of places such as Fakulteta is that Britain is a land where benefits flow like milk and honey is commonplace – even though few of these Roma people speak any English and would struggle to point to Britain on a map

‘The child will have been brainwashed and is often afraid of being beaten or deliberately deprived of food or having to sleep on the floor without a blanket if he refuses to obey. They use cruel methods to lock the child into the gang and make him work harder as a pickpocket.

‘After the child has escaped, the gang-master will meet him at a tourist landmark, maybe Big Ben which everyone knows, and move him to another big city — Manchester or Newcastle, for example — or even to mainland Europe.

‘It is difficult for the police to catch the children because they are shunted about all the time.
‘The trafficking gangs go mad when the police take a child away. If a young pickpocket is removed from the London streets for even a few days, the gang loses a lot of money.’

It is a chilling tale, but one that comes as little surprise to those on the streets of Fakulteta, the biggest gipsy enclave in Sofia. Inside the small shacks — often consisting of just one room with a bare light-bulb swinging from the ceiling where families of five or six sleep on the floor — they dream of life in Britain as their salvation.

Here, as in Romania, there is massive prejudice against gipsies. The Roma people say they want to work, but no one will give them jobs.

 
Inside the small shacks - often consisting of just one room with a bare light-bulb swinging from the ceiling where families of five or six sleep on the floor - they dream of life in Britain as their salvation
 
Inside the small shacks – often consisting of just one room with a bare light-bulb swinging from the ceiling where families of five or six sleep on the floor – they dream of life in Britain as their salvation

Instead, they are forced to beg on the streets of Sofia and other Bulgarian cities, explains Metodi Stoyanov, 49, a jobless father of sons aged 12, 16 and 18.

Metodi and his wife, Seeka, 46, live in one room with their three boys.

There is no bathroom, and the cooking stove is just inside the front door. Seeka goes out to work as a cleaner, walking miles out of the gipsy town to get an early bus across Sofia at six in the morning when the ticket collectors are not on board.

‘She cannot afford to pay the bus ticket each day. She only earns £15 a week,’ explains her husband. ‘We do not have the money to live. When I had toothache, I had to pull out the tooth myself because I cannot pay for a dentist.

‘We struggle to pay the electricity bill, and trying to buy the boys shoes to go to school is frightening when a pair costs £40.

‘We are too scared to be ill because it costs so much to see the doctor or buy medicines. If I had a heart attack, I would have to wait at home and die.

‘All we want is a normal life like the British people. I would like to go because I support Manchester United. There we would get our housing paid and child benefits. Here, we are given £30 a month by the state for our two youngest boys. It is not enough.’

The attitude that Britain is a land where benefits flow like milk and honey is commonplace — even though few of these Roma people speak any English and would struggle to point to Britain on a map.

 
'We are discriminated against as gipsy people. In Britain it is different. You treat everyone, black, white, brown or yellow, just the same. Of course, they will want to go,' said Bobby
 
We are discriminated against as gipsy people. In Britain it is different. You treat everyone, black, white, brown or yellow, just the same. Of course, they will want to go,’ said Bobby. Above, a Roma boy on a cart

Not far away in the gipsy town live 25-year-old Tsvetan Dimitrov, his 19-year-old wife, Dessislava, and their one-year-old daughter, Petra. They, too, have a one-room house, and Petra’s cot is pushed up next to the couple’s bed because there is nowhere else to put it.

They met at 13, married in a gipsy ceremony, and neither has ever worked. ‘But I could do labouring on building sites if I came to Britain,’ says Tsvetan hopefully.

‘It may not be enough, so obviously we would claim state help for our child and any others who come along. I know quite a lot about your country — you have a Queen and a famous football team: Manchester United. And I know you would look after us.’

It is much the same story at Georgi Georgiev’s equally humble home. The 30-year-old lives with his wife, Romaniana, 29, and their son and two daughters, all under 12.

When I visit, the children’s grandfather Mari, 51, says he expects hundreds of Roma gipsies from the town to leave for Britain.

‘There are people from Fakulteta already there,’ he says. ‘We know that your government helps people, even us gipsies. It is different in Bulgaria, where there is discrimination against us.’

Mari, a neatly dressed and polite man, lost his job as an office cleaner at an insurance company in Sofia after 25 years’ service just six months ago.

 
 
Until now, migrants from Bulgaira and Romania have neatly exploited a gaping loophole in the EU rules
 
Until now, migrants from Bulgaira and Romania have neatly exploited a gaping loophole in the EU rules. It allows those claiming to be self-employed to get a British national insurance number and a raft of hand-outs, including housing and child benefit

‘A new boss came and asked if I was a gipsy. I said yes, and he told me he did not want me in the building. He said he did not employ gipsy people because he did not trust them. It is the same for all of us. We have nothing because we are not given the chance.’

There is some truth in what he says. The Roma, who call themselves ‘gipsy’ proudly because it means ‘free man’ in their language, are an ignored under-class in Eastern Europe.

Back in the communist era, they were protected and were guaranteed jobs — like every adult in Bulgaria.

‘Now everything has changed,’ says Mari. ‘I have to go to the rubbish tip in Sofia to rifle through other people’s throw-outs to find something to sell so my family can eat. You can see why we like Britain where everyone is treated fairly.’

Bobby George, who is acting as my guide, nods in agreement as he listens to the conversation.

The boxer won a bronze medal for Bulgaria as a light welterweight in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. After turning professional, he left for the UK.

‘I went to Luton because that is where there are cheap flights to Bulgaria. I rent a small flat for my family and half of the £550-a-month rent is paid by housing benefit and, of course, we get the state benefits for the two children.

‘When I am not in training, I try to work. I have done labouring jobs and, officially, I am self-employed so I have a national insurance card. My wife works as a cleaner sometimes, too.’

Bobby — who boxed his way to success via the local Sofia fitness centre — is a devout Christian, like most of the Roma in Bulgaria. On Saturday night, he takes me to  the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Fakulteta for the weekly service of worship.

There is perfect singing by the small choir of women, and the visiting pastor stands up at the pulpit to deliver a sermon.

The theme is on obeying the Ten Commandments — and, particularly, the virtue of not stealing.

There is not a flicker of an eyelid in the small whitewashed church as the congregation listens intently to his words. And, at the end, the Roma people bow their heads in prayer and say Amen.

There are decent people here — and Bobby George, with his sporting talent and determination to succeed, is proof that many migrants wish only to strive hard and provide for their families.

But it would be misguided to ignore the concerns that he, and many others, voice at the impact on Britain when we swing open the doors to these hard-pressed people, so marginalised and mistrusted in their own lands.

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