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'Gypsies banned' from Rome bakery

'Akin to Nazi-era racism' say advocates

20 March, 14:29
'Gypsies banned' from Rome bakery (updates previous) (ANSA) - Rome, March 20 - A bakery in the working-class Tuscolano district in east Rome came under fire on Thursday for barring entry to Roma Gypsies. The sign on the door reading 'Gypsies are severely prohibited' used the Italian 'zingari', a derogatory catch-all term used to describe members of the capital's minority Roma and Sinti population. It was removed after being reported by an activist of the Roma rights association 21 July, which compared the bakery's discrimination of Roma to that of "Jews in Nazi Germany" and of "blacks in South Africa under apartheid".

Roma and Sinti also fell victim to Nazi discrimination and at least 500,000 are estimated to have lost their lives in the Porajmos, or Roma Holocaust, during WWII. The association 21 July also wrote to the President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano ahead of the international day for the elimination of racial discrimination on March 21 to express its "deep concern at the level of conflict and hostility registered towards the Roma and Sinti communities" in Italy.