Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Addresses Situation of Roma in Greece

20 November 2007

In a 20 April 2007 press release, the Greek Helsinki Monitor circulated excerpts from the 17 April proceedings of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) concerning the evictions of Roma in Greece and recent racist statements made by the Supreme Court Deputy Prosecutor, Mr Anastasios Kanellopoulos.

During the session, Latvian MP Mr Boris Cilevics noted that the Committee of Ministers had not addressed Greece's continued violations of the European Social Charter since its decision to do so in June 2005. He called attention to the situation in Patras and Mr Kanellopoulos' racist justification of the evictions. Finally, Mr Cilevics asked the Chair of the Committee of ministers, San Marino's Secretary of State Mr Fiorenzo Stolfi, whether or not the Committee intended to continue ignoring the findings of the Human Rights Commissioner and European Committees with regard to human rights violations in Greece.

Mr Stolfi replied, on behalf of the Committee of Ministers, that he trusted Greece would consider the reports of the Commissioner and the European Committees, and continue to observe the social rights of its Roma. Mr Stolfi further remarked that the Committee of Ministers would continue to support research conducted by the Commissioner. He confirmed that the Council of Europe condemns racist remarks, but trusted that Greek authorities would take care of it.

(Greek Helsinki Monitor)

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