Regional government criticised for having ‘ignored’ International Romani Day in Spain’s Costa Blanca.
INTERNATIONAL Romani Day has been celebrated across the globe on April 8 since 1990 as an occasion for celebrating Romani culture and to raise awareness of the issues facing the people. This year, three prominent organisations in the Costa Blanca province of Alicante – Faga, Arakerando and FSG – have accused the City Council of essentially ignoring the celebration, as reported by Alicante Plaza. The groups released a statement on Friday, April 9, claiming that “April 8 is a very significant day, for all Roma citizens, gypsies and gypsies of the world. This year especially 2021, it has a connotation that makes it even more emotional; it is the 50th anniversary of that historic Congress in 1971, in the city of London, where our flag and our anthem, the Gelem Gelem, were established, identity and historical signs, which we proudly maintain.”
The associations pointed out that several other areas marked the occasion by holding conferences, public celebrations and flying the Romani flag at town halls with the aim of giving visibility, respect and recognition to its citizens, while promoting inclusion and diversity.
In a scathing criticism of the Alicante City Council, in contract, the statement read:
“In this festive and vindictive scenario, we can say with great pain and shame that the city of Alicante, governed by Luis Barcala, has not had the slightest gesture from his mayor’s office to have a day like this on its agenda and facilitate its visibility before the citizens of Alicante. Therefore, it adds to the heap of shame that the city of Alicante has been adding for a year in the midst of the health crisis, the democratic crisis that our city seems to be suffering.”
The municipal group of Compromís has spoken out in support of the Romani citizens of Alicante City, claiming that Mr Barcala’s ignoring the day contrasted sharply with the rest of the Vlencian Community, which worked hard on this historic day to support the minority population.
“We see a lot of laziness, a lot of lack of empathy and little dedication,” the spokesperson concluded.