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Forgotten: Roma in Greece

The Roma have been nomads for centuries. People have called them gypsies. Scattered across most of Europe, their unique way of life stands out amongst the countries who host them. In Greece, their numbers are estimated between 200-300.000, although they consider themselves to be more.

The Roma do not have a particular religion. Yet customs and traditions have kept them together in the course of their history. In general, they fall under two categories: those who have settled and those who still roam the lands as nomads. Most earn their living through trade, agriculture or performance, keeping constantly on the move and staying in the outskirts of the big cities, in self-governed settlements.

The Roma have to constantly fight off many negative stereotypes which are attributed to them, often intensifying their unwillingness to adjust. Many of them are organized in unions (Greek Confederation), with over 300,000 registered members, while in 2006 they formed a political party in Greece, called ''Rom Shield''. As complaints about the violation of their rights increase, the Roma people keep on struggling to survive and to keep their identity alive in a society that seems to have forgotten all about them. In the past years they have experienced a new wave of persecution initiated by the State, in countries such as France and Romania. Many have characterized these newly introduced displacements as pogroms.


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