During her official visit to Bucharest, Halonen said that "she agrees" with president Basescu that the gypsies issues must be solved with the involvement of the European institutions, but she warned that is of the "same importance to clean our home also".
Halonen gave Findland's example, which, with a population of 5 millions, has a minority of 10.000 gypsies with a guaranteed access to education and housing. The two presidents discussed the gypsies problems in the context in which the EU is preparing a communitary strategy for this minority.
Halonen: "Beggary is not work"
Asked by the Finnish media what can our country do to stop the gypsies emigration, Basescu answered that "Romania will never accept circulation restrictions for its citizens" no matter the ethnical origin, who are choosing to leave to work because they are paid better.
"Beggary is not work", said Halonen. According to the Finish president, the phenomenon, that reached Helsinki together with the gypsies from our country, was "a shock", "We are not being arrogant", she added, mentioning that the beggary is still "the most visible aspect" related to Romania.
According to Basescu, "Romania alone can't assume the responsibility for what the gypsy minority is doing abroad", but only in co-operation with the governments of the countries where the gypsies move.
Cioaba: "In Europe are reviving the phantoms of the past"
After the meeting with Basescu, at a round table on the same topic" Halonen detailed the reasons of the "shock" felt by the Finnish. "Not only because they are begging, but for the fact that they are living in the streets, at winter, with small children", explained the president. In order to solve the beggary problem, the Helsinki authorities are making a study to determine if the phenomenon is caused by social problems or by the traffic of human beings.
In a sign of gratitude for the founding, in Helsinki, of the European Gypsy Forum, king Florin Cioaba, offered Halonen a pennant of the Royal House and a diploma offered by the community. "Not only in Italy, but in France and other European countries as well are reviving the phantoms of the past. It's not possible that in the XXI century to see the appearance of the ideas that led in the past to the deportation to extermination camps. I think that the EU was not ready for this wave of immigrants", he complained. According to Cioaba, the European strategy for gypsies should be thought before the EU expansion to the East.
The government tried to defend its position, underlining, through Gabriel Berca, the executive's general secretary, that it already attracted 25 millions euro from the EU funds for integration projects for this minority.