Aliens of gypsy Descent: Romani images in the Greek press
07 December 1999
This paper presents and analyses images of Roma in the Greek press. I used as sources a wide range of Greek mainstream newspapers from January to August 1998. During this period, one of the most popular commercial television stations in the country, MEGA Channel, broadcast a serial called "Whispers of the Heart" that featured Romani themes. The series quickly became a big success, breaking all previous television rating records. For the first time in the history of Greek television, a true Romani settlement became the main stage for a mainstream series, and Roma acted in a series alongside non-Romani protagonists. The story line centred primarily on the passionate love of a Romani woman for a non-Romani man, in an -against all odds- love story. The series dealt with Romani traditions and beliefs as well as everyday problems2. In light of this series, this article analyses Roma rights issues in the Greek media, as well as the presence of Roma in the Greek press.
Roma in Greece constitute the largest minority in the country. Independent sources have estimated the number of Greek Roma to be as high as 350,000 out of a total population of approximately 10,000,0003. Half of these seem to be relatively well integrated into Greek society. However, the rest of the Romani population is, as Minority Rights Group-Greece put it, "the most marginalised social group in Greece, subject to discrimination in education, employment and housing and to police abuse. (...) They live in at least thirty slums throughout the country with some of the worst living conditions in Europe4". According to the meagre sources available, the presence of Roma in the country dates back possibly as far as the 11th century. However, with the exception of the Muslim Roma in Western Thrace, who acquired Greek citizenship in the 1930s,5 the rest of the Greek Roma became citizens only in the mid 1970's. Until then, Roma had been seen and treated as "aliens of Gypsy decent"6. They had special identification documents which needed to be renewed every two years7. This belated recognition, despite the 1954 United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Stateless Persons, which calls upon states to naturalize stateless persons, impeded their integration into the Greek society and determined their future marginal position in the social, political and economic sphere8.
Until 1975, Roma had little involvement in political parties, cultural associations, trade unions and they were drastically underrepresented in the education system and the media. Today, many Roma continue to live without modern conveniences such as electricity, running water and telephones, and Roma have extremely limited access to education, work and health insurance. This exclusion is particularly evident in the media. Roma, like most minorities in Greece, are underrepresented in public broadcasting and commercial electronic media. Although there are exceptions, the most notable being "Whispers of the Heart", Roma are rarely ever included in mainstream programming. Greece also lacks legal and financial provision for minority electronic media, making it almost impossible for Roma to acquire their own voice in the media. In the press, articles on Roma appear regularly. Local and national, right-wing and left-wing, conservative and progressive, opposition and pro-governmental, mainstream newspapers frequently devote time and space to the Roma. However, this attention has not aided the Roma rights cause to any significant degree.
Criminals and parasites
Highlighting the ethnicity of alleged criminals is an ingrained habit of the Greek press. Stressing ethnicity, in the title or the introductory phrases of an article, is common, especially where alleged perpetrators are Albanian or Romani: "Drug Dealing between Tsigani9 Underage People' (Ta Nea, 13.2.98), "An Italian Tsiganos Father Barbecued his 5-year-old Daughter and Ate her Together with his Other Two Children" (Ethnos, 5.3.98), "Guns and Hashish in Tsiganika Shelters" (Eleftheros Typos, 10.4.98), "Tsigana Woman Stabs Pensioner" (Ta Nea, 15.5.98), "Tsigani Attack Three Policemen" (Eleftherotypia, 20.6.98), "Underage Tsiganiki Gang Falls into Police's Hands" (Ta Nea, 4.7.98), "Fishermen Attacked by Armed Tsigani" (Eleftheros Typos, 8.8.98). Stressing the ethnicity of lawbreakers and criminals serves no practical purpose other than to stigmatise certain groups10. Additionally, it is unethical to stress the ethnicity of suspects who have not been found guilty by a court.
Frequently, when perpetrators are unknown, speculations by the police and the press include ethnicity. One example of this practice is an article in Ta Nea on June 16, 1998: while trying to stop a "suspicious-looking" white car, police officers were shot at by the driver and the passengers in the car. Policemen shot back at the people in the car and one of them was mortally wounded. The others fled on foot, leaving the victim behind. Although the victim had not been identified, the paper reported that "it is highly likely that the victim is Tsiganos." The following day, it was reported that the victim was not Romani but an ethnic Albanian illegal immigrant from Albania. Speculation about the identity of suspects in the press heightens anti-Romani sentiment in Greece. The June 16 article in Ta Nea in particular not only neglected to cross-check the policemen's version of the way the incident had taken place, it also endorsed police procedure, leaving unchallenged the fact that in the course of arrest, one suspect died and the others escaped.11 The tone of the article led the reader to the conclusion that the death penalty spontaneously imposed by the police was fully deserved. The article is far from unique in its unquestioning endorsement of whatever actions the police have undertaken.
Many articles perpetuate the idea that drug-dealing is something typically "Romani". For example, an article in Ta Nea dated February 13, 1998, entitled "Drug Dealing between Tsigani and Underage People", stated that the area of Zefyri - on the perimeter of Athens - was a drug market run by Roma and targeting primarily underage people. However, the article featured numerous examples of non-Romani hashish dealers. On March 4, 1998, the same paper ran another story on the Zefyri camp, claiming it was a place rife with the sale of drugs, and Roma were reported as the dealers.
Another distorting point in the coverage of (Romani) drug trafficking is the identification of Roma as hard drug dealers. In general, Roma involved in drug business tend to sell soft drugs, for example, hashish. According to police sources rarely quoted in the mainstream press, the heroin, cocaine and crack business is primarily in the hands of non-Romani dealers. Roma are not often among the suspects arrested for hard drug trafficking. Newspapers, however, rarely make the distinction. As a rule, they report on Romani hashish traffickers in the same way as dealers in hard drugs, implying the same level of threat to society. The Greek press also does not distinguish Romani petty thieves from hardened criminals. In these ways, articles present a very general and distorted picture of Roma, reinforcing the stereotypes of genetically and culturally defined criminality.
Frequently, in press reports, Roma are pictured as trouble-makers. An article in Eleftheros Typos on May 31, 1998, referred to the problematic coexistence of the residents of a mixed, provincial town in Greece called Yannouli. Non-Romani interviewees described robberies, blackmail and fights as an integral part of their everyday life. It was alleged in the article that one of the most affluent Greek Romani families sells drugs and guns. The report presented only one side of the story: the non-Romani version. The paper did not make any single comment on the way issues of inter-ethnic tensions and conflicts should be addressed. The story conveyed the message that Roma and non-Roma cannot live together and that Roma are to be blamed for problems between the two groups. No Roma were quoted in the article.
In other articles, Roma are depicted as social parasites, people who despise work and exploit their children. An article in Ethnos on March 5, 1998, on Romani drug trafficking, is one example of this practice. According to the article, people from all walks of life and age groups can be spotted in the wider area of the Zefyri Romani camp coming to buy drugs. Reportedly, 14-year-old Romani children sell Albanian hashish. Roma were collectively portrayed as unprincipled, lazy people who lead an unlawful existence and do not hesitate to introduce their own children into this kind of life.
The Greek press often portrays Roma as defending even those Roma involved in serious criminal activity. On January 10, 1998, Eleftheros Typos reported that the branch of the National Bank of Greece in Evosmos in Thessaloniki was attacked by Romani robbers. According to the newspaper, Roma entered the bank posing as beggars and then robbed the bank. The robbers were chased by the police but managed to get away with all the cash. At some point, they entered the Roma camp of Evosmos and vanished among the shelters. The same bank had been robbed the previous year and, according to the police, the robbers were "Tsigani" who had also used the camp to escape. Leaving aside the speculations on the ethnic identity of the thieves, the implicit message conveyed by such a report was that the thieves acted as if they had the whole Romani community of Evosmos on their side. The Roma of the region were presented as accomplices to both robberies.
Reports referring to criminality frequently associate Roma with the so-called "Albanian Mafia". The Greek press presents Albanians in a negative light, and there is an interplay between negative images of Albanians and negative images of Roma12. The correlation between Albanians and Roma succeeds in propagating and reinforcing already existing negative stereotypes and connotations about the latter. Roma are often depicted, for example, as dealers of hashish from Albania (see, for example, Eleftheros Typos, 4.3.98). Ta Nea, in an article published on May 9, 1998, made extensive reference to relations between Albanian and Romani criminals.
In addition, the Greek press often publicises the names of underage Romani suspects. One example is an article published in Eleftherotypia on August 8, 1998: two underage Roma were caught by policemen after attempting to rob a taxi driver. In the police station, they reportedly confessed that they had committed six robberies and taken around 150,000 drachmas (approximately 455 euros). Eleftherotypia published their names, an ethically questionable act since minors are supposed to be a category deserving protection from harmful public exposure.
Often, when Roma are victims and not perpetrators, newspapers either underreport the event or do not report the abuse at all. Where police abuse is reported, it tends to be without reference to ethnicity. There have been only a few exceptions to this rule in the recent past. The ill-treatment of two Romani minors by police officers in a police station of the city of Mesolongi, was reported by Eleftherotypia (12&13.5.98). This was the only one out of all eight monitored newspapers which dealt with the case. The same paper was the only one again, on June 10, 1998, to report that a police officer had attacked a 14-year-old Romani boy in the central market on the island of Mytilini. Reportedly, it was not the first time that such an act of police brutality had taken place on the island. In most cases, newspapers refer to Roma law-breakers and criminal suspects without making any attempt to contextualise criminality within social marginalisation and poverty. In most articles concerning Roma there is an absence of any analysis on the reasons that push Roma into criminality. Poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, discrimination, social exclusion are completely disregarded by journalists as contributing factors to anti-social and criminal behaviour. The lack of any explanatory framework propagates and reinforces the stereotypes of genetically or culturally determined criminality.
The success of the TV series "Whispers of the Heart" resulted in an increase in the number of reports on Roma in Greece. The series also succeeded in stimulating public interest in Romani customs and traditions. The media became interested in exploring how far a "Romani way of life", as depicted on television, differed from reality. Media devoted space and time to find out more about the "true" Roma. Who are they? How do they think and behave? Are they really impulsive, passionate and proud? 'Whispers of the Heart" generated, first of all, a series of interviews with the director, the script-writers and the actors of the serial. Non-Romani celebrities praised Romani culture and pointed out some of the difficulties of Romani life. They explicitly referred to the contribution of Roma to the success of the series, condemned the racist and xenophobic behaviour of many Greeks towards the Roma, and spoke out against stereotypes. They also reportedly participated in real Romani events such as marriages, engagements and anti-racist campaigns, and spent much of their time with their Romani co-stars. An article in Eleftheros Typos on March 28, 1998, reported that the director of the series had celebrated the National Day - March 25th - with the Roma. The extent to which all these events were part of a promotion strategy for the series does not diminish their impact and the importance of the messages conveyed to the public. Numerous non-Romani Greek intellectuals also added their support for Roma and their opposition to racism. The publication of books on Romani history, language and culture was also an occasion for several articles (Ethnos, 17.1.98; Epohi, 8.2.98; Eleftherotypia, 17.1.98, 8.3.98 and 16.4.98; Ta Nea 11.2.98).
As the main theme of "Whispers of the Heart" was a love affair, references to Romani impulsiveness, passion and temperament became a prominent part of news reporting. Also, real love affairs among Roma came to be deemed newsworthy. For example, Ethnos (13&14.3.98) ran an article called "Whispers of the Heart in Evosmos" which concerned a love affair between Erietta, a 12-year-old Romani girl from a wealthy family, and a poor Romani boy. According to the article, Erietta's father refused to give his blessing to the marriage and the lovers ended up in court. The Romani boy, desperately in love, decided to kidnap his beloved from her father in order to marry her in secret. Erietta's father chased them and soon discovered the young couple's hideaway. He took his daughter away, forced her to marry another rich Rom and pressed charges against the kidnapper. In another article, Ethnos (14.4.98) made a direct parallel between the show and real life when it reported on the love of a non-Romani man for a Romani woman which had resulted in his kidnapping her and their subsequent marriage.
In the majority of articles making reference to the serial, Roma were also pictured as hot-tempered, unpredictable, free-spirited (Ta Nea, 3.3.98) and independent (Ethnos, 18.3.98). They have pride, morality and family values (Exousia, 27.1.98). Roma live for the present and not for the future; have a liberated perception of time and place; and live without the burden of private property (Ta Nea, 11.2.98). The women are beautiful. They wear long, colourful skirts, golden jewels and dance to oriental and exotic rhythms. Men are macho, tender, sensitive and, at the same time, fearless. Roma are talented musicians and above all poetic souls. They master the clarinet and the guitar. The good life for Roma means travelling, entertainment, music, and celebrations.
Compared to the image of Roma as criminals, the folkloric ones are more positive. However, they also present a distorted picture of Roma. On the whole, media reports focused on Roma living in Romani settlements and ignored the existence of integrated Roma. Further, while focusing on the most marginalised Roma, the Greek media has tended to report on their lifestyle as if it were freely chosen. One of the most prevalent stereotypes conveyed in many of these reports is that Roma live in camps and shanties because they enjoy travelling. Often, Roma travel in search of work13. Those who are not street vendors work in the provinces as farm and factory workers. The competition with illegal immigrants working in the black labour market and ethnic Greeks from former Soviet Union whose wages were, for a large period, subsidised by the Greek state, left many of them without other means than itinerant seasonal and often underpaid jobs. Some of the reports created the impression that Roma are indifferent to their future and do not wish to change their living conditions.
Some images provide more depth to coverage of Romani issues and promoted compassion. Such compassionate articles shift the focus: Roma are not 'social problems", they have problems. These compassionate presentations often include the Romani perspective. Some articles put the marginalisation of Roma in historical, ethnic, social and political perspective, focusing on the debilitating effects of racist stereotypes. For example, Ta Nea wrote, on February 2, 1998: "We speak about 300,000 people who have been living on Greek territory since the 14th century and who are completely ignored by the official Greek state (Greece refused to grant them citizenship for more than 120 years) and by the history and sociology books. To us, the Tsigani represent colourful skirts, clarinets, caricatures and not normal people, with flesh, blood and needs. Still, they live together with us, everywhere and nowhere. ... The Tsigani have always been the most ignored of all minorities only because they lack people with access to the system and a voice which can be heard. That explains to a certain extent why the police are so cool when they intrude the Tsiganika houses in search of suspects, without any warrants or second thoughts". Similarly, Eleftherotypia wrote on April 16, 1998, "From 1810 to 1978, Tsigani in Greece were deprived of Greek citizenship. They had no human, political, social and economic rights. Consequently, they were also deprived of the right to education."
Generally, compassionate images have positive nuances. Their effect on the public becomes even bigger when they are also conveyed by a third source, in particular individuals and organisations with sensitivity to human and minority rights issues. In this way, more objectivity and credibility is attributed to any sympathetic report, statement and denunciation about the harsh life of Roma. In an open letter published in Eleftherotypia on February 23, 1998, one of the readers expressed her grief at the death of a two-year-old Romani boy, burned in his shelter one month previously while sleeping. The letter criticised the Greek state for not doing enough to protect human and children's rights. Similarly, an open letter was written by the pupils of a primary school, printed in Ta Nea, on March 6, 1998. The letter dealt with the unbearable living and housing conditions of the Roma of Aspropyrgos. The pupils quoted the parts of the Greek Constitution pertaining to human rights. This was coupled with a presentation of the everyday reality of the Roma: "All these people live in poor shelters made of wood and tin cans. So many people live in one shelter. Rubbish and mud are everywhere. There is no running water, electricity or toilets. They do not like this kind of life. Some of the children are sick. They are without shoes and clothes. Only two of them go to school..." The demonstration of a (non-Romani) school-teacher, protesting against the squalid living conditions of the Roma of his provincial town, attracted the interest of the national press (Ta Nea, 7.7.98, Eleftherotypia and Eleftheros Typos, 13.7.98). The teacher bound himself in chains in protest at the state's inertia and as a way of alerting both media and public opinion.
The positive messages conveyed by compassionate reports and images risk being overwhelmed by a spirit of "over-victimisation". Perpetuated images of misery and constant references to Romani victims risk accustoming both Roma and non-Roma to this picture, ending up conveying an atmosphere of hopelessness. As the non-governmental organisation Project on Ethnic Relations has noted, images of "victim-status may be effective in getting something out of the dominant society and eliciting resources from the state through manipulation of guilt and social responsibility. Yet, there is a real danger that the disadvantaged group may come to believe in them, to internalise victim status as an unchanging reality of life. Historically, it may be true that one has been a victim of state policies. However, insisting on victim status in order to continue to elicit state resources, after the state has made a genuine attempt to change its policies and to enlist the former victim as a partner, may reinforce a victim mentality14."
In this light, examples in the press of Roma succeeding in life despite the difficulties are valuable, as they refute prejudices and stereotypes and set examples for imitation by both Roma and non-Roma. There are not many such articles. For the monitored period, only two reports of this kind were found in the press. Ethnos (10.5.98) referred to a Romani mother who "worked here and there, so that her children would get a better life and education." Her son at that time was a second-year medical student, one of the five Romani children in Greece who managed to pass the university exams. Her daughter was in her second year of college. "I wanted to prove that if Tsigani want to, they can escape from misery," said her son, who attributed the high percentages of Romani illiteracy to "Tsiganiki mentality", as well as to the racist attitude of the majority society towards Roma.
The second such report dealt with the life and career of a dead Roma musician. The article, "Belated Honour", was published in Ta Nea on April 14, 1998. According to the article, from the beginning of his career in the mid-1950s until his death in 1998, the Romani singer M. Angelopoulos faced the racist behaviour of some Greek media and artists. Many of them demeaned his identity by calling him "Gypsy". He endured such humiliation with remarkable patience and dignity. He was lucky enough to see that ordinary people adored him and counted him among their favourite singers. However, according to the article the fact of his success was not enough to eliminate the racist feelings which some people expressed for him.
Some of the most sympathetic images of Roma in the Greek media have shown Roma as law-breakers but as a result of extenuating circumstances. In some cases, they appear to be more sinned against than sinners. Articles in Ethnos, Eleftherotypia, Ta Nea and Eleftheros Typos, all of them appearing on August 1, 1998, constitute illustrative examples: a 33-year-old Roma woman gave birth to a boy in the extraordinary circumstances of being in a police station at the time. The woman had been arrested two days previously for selling hashish. She was caught with twelve grams and was taken to the police station of Drapetsona, Pireaus. When she felt the first pains, she called a policeman and informed him of her situation. The latter called an ambulance but it was too late. The woman gave birth with the help of the policemen who, needless to say, had no experience in delivering babies. One of them called a gynaecologist and, following his instructions, managed to carry out the whole operation. A few minutes later, when the ambulance arrived, both mother and son were transferred to the nearest hospital. The articles reported that based on her own estimate, the woman had given birth a month prematurely; she had not been at all examined by a doctor in the course of her pregnancy, so she did not know precisely how advanced her pregnancy had been at the time she gave birth. When asked about why she sold hashish, she reportedly told journalists that she had no other means to support her family - she already had five children. The press reported that she was all alone in life, without any support from her husband, who was in jail. The portrait of the protagonist was less of a drug dealer than of a woman and mother to whom life had not been generous.
A careful look shows that it is rather impossible to talk about a single prevalent image of the Roma in the Greek print media. Images of Roma seem to be quite contradictory, and yet rather complementary at the same time. These images, no matter how conflicting, coexist rather harmoniously in the Greek press. Sanctioned by time, stereotypes and ignorance of Roma, these images in essence remain unchanging. What seems to change periodically is their relationship. In terms of numbers, frequency, intensity and impact, one or two of these types might have a lead for a time over others. These changes depend on certain "social and media variables". For instance, in periods where the issue of domestic criminality is on the public agenda (for example on the occasion of the publication of annual statistics by the Ministry of Public Order), the criminal stereotype of Roma seems to prevail over the others. There are certain periods however, where this image yields to another alarming image: that of the foreign immigrants. Since 1992, the time of a major recent influx to Greece of immigrants - in particular Albanian immigrants - the criminal stereotype of Roma has been less prominent. Nevertheless, the fact that Roma are frequently depicted by the Greek press as the domestic liaison of the Albanian Mafia makes the impact of any such report larger and more negative. During summer holidays, when Greeks go to the seaside and the countryside for holidays, and both the number of newsworthy events and the number of journalists at work declines, reports on "Gypsy crime" surge. Reports on Albanians, Romanians and Roma emptying the houses of holiday-makers, succeed in having a large, negative impact on the Greek public.
The success of "Whispers of the Heart" had a remarkable effect upon both the image of Roma in the press as well and the press itself. In the period of its broadcast, October 1997 - May 1998, Greek newspapers dedicated pages and pages to the actors of the serial, the director and the script-writers, as well as to the Roma themselves. From the moment "Whispers of the Heart" reached high ratings until its end, Roma received much more favourable coverage in the Greek press. "Whispers of the Heart" brought Roma, for the first time in the history of Greek television, from the camps into the public eye. In this light and despite its superficiality, the serial overall had a positive effect. Yet there is still a lot to be done. As the Project on Ethnic Relations put it, "because of their fundamental importance in shaping public opinion and attitudes, those who work in the mass media should be made more aware of their responsibilities in reporting on Romani-related issues. Romani participation in reporting for the mass media should be increased and fora should be created for dialogue between Romani and non-Romani journalists15." This process has only just begun in Greece.
- Christina Rougheri holds a Master degree in Southeast European Studies from the Central European University in Budapest, as well as a Bachelors degree in Mass Media and Communication from the University of Athens. She currently co-ordinates the work of the Roma office of the Athens-based non-governmental organisation Greek Helsinki Monitor.
- On "Whispers of the Heart", see also Rougheri, Christina, "The Apotheosis of Roma in a Record-Breaking Greek TV Series", Athens: Greek Helsinki Monitor and Minority Rights Group-Greece, Alternative Information Network, 8.4.1998.
- Greek censuses do not require any reference to ethnic affiliation, language and religion. The last census in Greece to include questions on religion and language took place in 1951. Information of this kind has not been required by any of the censuses which followed. Taking this fact into account, together with the "hidden identity" phenomenon - mainly witnessed in Western Thrace where Roma are often identified as Turks - the exact number of Roma in Greece can only be estimated. According to the General Secretariat for Adult Education - a government agency - the Romani population was estimated to be between 150,000 and 200,000 in 1997. In 1996, the same source had put the figure at 300,000. Findings of independent sources show that 300,000 is closer to reality. Minority Rights Group?Greece claims that the number of Roma in the country possibly exceeds the 300,000 reaching even 350,000 (Minority Rights Group - Greece, "Report on Greece to the 1998 OSCE Implementation Meeting, 29 October 1998", available at ).
- Minority Rights Group-Greece, "Report on Greece to the 1998 OSCE Implementation Meeting", 29 October 1998, Op.cit.
- The Muslim Roma of Western Thrace were under the protection of the Treaty of Lausanne, signed in 1923 between Greece and Turkey, which regulated the exchange of populations as well as the status of the remaining minority populations in both countries (see Zeginis Efstratios, I Musulmani Atsigani tis Thrakis, Thessaloniki: Institute for Balkan Studies, 1994, pp.20-21).
- See Dousas Dimitris, "Rom ke Filetikes Diakrisis" in Stin Istoria, tin Kinonia, tin Kultura, tin Ekpedevsi ke ta Anthropina Dikeomata, Athens: Gutemberg 1997, p.62.
- See Zegenis Efstratios, Op.cit., pp.20-21.
- Greece ratified the Convention in 1975.
- In all articles quoted here, the only term which is used to describe the Roma is "Tsiganos", which means "Gypsy" in Greek. In Greek, there is another term deriving from the word Gypsy, which is "Gyftos". The term "Roma" is not familiar to a wide segment of the public. "Tsigani", "Tsigana", "Tsiganikos", 'Tsiganiki" and "Tsiganika" are all forms of the word 'Tsiganos'.
- See Project on Ethnic Relations, 'Prevention of Violence and Discrimination against the Roma in Central and Eastern Europe", Princeton: Project on Ethnic Relations, 1997, p.7.
- In fact, anti-Romani sentiment is widespread among police officers in Greece, as is the impulsive use of the firearm. Roma are often killed or wounded by police officers and police officers are rarely punished for abuses against Roma. For example, on April 1, 1998, police killed A. Jelal, a 29-year-old Romani man, on the outskirts of the city of Thessaloniki while he was reportedly trying to avoid a police check. Eleftherotypia reported more than four months later, on August 22, 1998, that as of that date the Ministry of Public Order had not yet ordered investigation or even a forensic report.
- See Lenkova, Mariana, "'Hate Speech' in the Balkans", Athens: International Helsinki Federation/ETEPE, 1998, pp.43-45; and Greek Helsinki Monitor, "Positive and Negative Stereotypes of Internal Minorities and Neighbouring Peoples in The Greek Press", monthly and biannual reports from October 1996 till September 1998, available on the Internet at .
- See Liegeois, Jean-Pierre and Nicolae Gheorghe, Roma/Gypsies: A European Minority, p.17.
- Project on Ethnic Relations, "The Romanies in Central and Eastern Europe: Illusions and Reality", Princeton: Project on Ethnic Relations, 1992, p.20.
- Project on Ethnic Relations, "Prevention of Violence and Discrimination Against the Roma in Central and Eastern Europe", Op.cit., p.10.