Hesse: Contract with Sinti and Roma: State Parliament welcomes extension

Wiesbaden (dpa/lhe) - Hesse's Prime Minister Boris Rhein (CDU) has emphasized the special importance of updating the state treaty between the state government and the Hessian State Association of German Sinti and Roma.

Hesse: Contract with Sinti and Roma: State Parliament welcomes extension

Wiesbaden (dpa/lhe) - Hesse's Prime Minister Boris Rhein (CDU) has emphasized the special importance of updating the state treaty between the state government and the Hessian State Association of German Sinti and Roma. The Nazi genocide wiped out almost a whole generation of Sinti and Roma, he said on Tuesday at the first reading of the draft law in the Hessian state parliament.

"It is a shame that the lives of Sinti and Roma have been shaped by displacement and persecution for a millennium. It is therefore our duty here and now to guarantee Sinti and Roma full and effective equality in all areas of life." , explained Rhein.

In May, the State of Hesse signed the state treaty concluded in 2017 with the State Association of German Sinti and Roma, thereby extending it by a further ten years. According to the draft law introduced by the black-green government factions in the Wiesbaden state parliament on Tuesday, financial support is to be increased by 200,000 euros from 2025. The national association then received a total of 500,000 euros annually.

Support for Sinti and Roma is right and important, but far from enough, said Left MP Saadet Sönmez. The goals pursued should apply to all marginalized groups in society. "Unfortunately, we are still a long way from that," she emphasized and called for a state anti-discrimination law in Hesse.

The new contract is an expression of the fact that politicians have made progress in dealing with the Sinti and Roma, said the spokesman for integration policy for the SPD parliamentary group, Turgut Yüksel. "Unfortunately, this progress has not yet been received enough on the social side." He also called for an anti-discrimination law and the expansion of training courses, for example for teachers and police officers, to raise awareness of how to deal with Sinti and Roma.

The FDP welcomed the continuation of the contract. "Sinti and Roma have a right to live without discrimination - in peace and security," said their spokesman for cultural policy, Stefan Naas. However, the liberals would have liked all parties in the Hessian state parliament to be involved in the body working with the state association of Sinti and Roma and not just the black-green state government.

The AfD also considers the budget increase to be appropriate, said MP Dimitri Schulz. However, he accused the state government of symbolic politics. Equal rights are given by the constitution for all German citizens. Schulz also called for a more consistent deportation of all people who entered the country illegally, especially from the Balkans. "Because then you really do something to combat the prejudice that all Sinti and Roma are without exception homeless," said the AfD politician.

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