From: “EveryOne Group” Rome, August 17th, 2008
The hot weather has had drastic effects on the Roma settlements in Italy, encouraging the spread of mycotic and bacterial infections, and aggravating diseases of the respiratory and digestive tracts, and heart and neurological problems.
Health care for the Roma people is practically non-existent, they are denied essential medicines – which only in some cases are prescribed by doctors, but which the Roma have to pay for. To relieve the symptoms of certain pathologies it is necessary to increase water consumption, but no measures have been taken by the authorities to supply the camps with sufficient drinking water. On the contrary, the Roma families are subjected to camp clearances from micro-settlements almost daily, which only makes the lack of clean water even more serious.
And without water, and food and medicines, the children, elderly and the weakest members of the community often fall seriously ill and even die. Massimo Barra, the president of the Italian Red Cross (an organization that very rarely gives out information that would damage the image of the racist institutions) declared to the AGI that the conditions the Roma people in the capital are forced to live in are worse than those in the poor villages of Uganda: “I recently went to see a group of HIV positive women who live in the suburbs of Kampala, in Uganda, and I found them living in better conditions.” Italy, however, is continuing a persecution that does not take into consideration the “nomads’” basic human rights. Instead of adopting health and welfare measures (in front of a rapid increase in the death rate and the appearance and aggravation of pathologies) the Italian authorities are continuing to eat up considerable resources in carrying out camp clearances (without the offer of alternative lodgings); police and military operations; and the pointless, superficial fingerprinting of communities that are being driven away from one place to the next.
The presence of the Red Cross gives the illusion that there is a welfare programme for the Roma people underway, but no project of this type exists. It is intolerable that the European Union and United Nations (in spite of all the words and declarations, and in spite of the resolutions and warnings condemning racism in Italy) are just looking on – like seventy years ago – at the destruction of a people, and the model of civilization respectful of human rights that Europe would like to embody.