The deputy chairman of the council of ethnic Roma residents in the City of Zagreb, Jasmin Bajrić, urged Zagreb mayoral candidates not to exploit the Roma cause in their campaigns and to refrain from spreading stereotypes about this ethnic community.
At a press conference on Monday, Bajrić criticised independent mayoral candidate Vesna Škare Ožbolt after she stated that Roma residents in the Zagreb suburbs had told her that some of the campaign staff of the acting mayor, Jelena Pavičić Vukičević, had visited them and offered them HRK 200 (€25) in exchange for supporting Pavičić Vukičević’s mayoral candidacy.
Bajrić said statements like that essentially amounted to the dissemination of harmful stereotypes and prejudices against the Roma community, Hina news agency reported.
Bajrić called on politicians and mayoral candidates to show sincere empathy towards Roma members and praised the Zagreb city assembly for having adopted two crucial strategic documents on financial support, including scholarships for Roma students, as well as Zagreb’s action plan for the implementation of Croatia’s national strategy for the inclusion of Roma in the 2013-2020 period. (Željko Trkanjec | EURACTIV.hr)