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UN Rapporteur Philip Alston: Many Romanian officials deny the degree of poverty in the country

Many Romanian officials are in a state of denial regarding the high degree of poverty in the country, although 40% of the population is affected by this phenomenon, and 34.1% of children suffer from extreme poverty, said on Wednesday the UN Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights Philip Alston.
The UN Special Rapporteur said during a press conference at the end of the mission he has paid in Romania since November 2, that he has already sent a report to the Government and the final report will be presented next summer.
Philip Alston showed that Romania is going through a very difficult and tragic period after the fire of October 30 at Colectiv nightclub, but this period may prove to be one of renewal.
Main statements:
– Many officials are in a state of denial regarding the extent of poverty in the country and about the discrimination of those living in extreme poverty, in particular Roma ethnics;
– Romania has made major progress in terms of corruption, but only against large-scale corruption, there are still problems with petty corruption regarding access to many social services;
– Poverty is not a choice. But too often the choice is made at the level of government policy;
– Romania had constantly placed the last one in terms of poverty and social exclusion in the EU; (…) By any standards we may consider, the percentages is low for a large country like Romania. (…) In addition, against the 40% of the population is at risk of poverty or social exclusion, it is estimated that 29% register severe material deprivation;
– The fact that no money is allotted to eradicate poverty, although the state collects taxes, actually reflects a political decision. The money is there and more importantly is that there are clear reasons for not having not available more money.
– Even when taking measures to eradicate corruption, only a small part of the money is confiscated. You get away with the money if you are corrupt.

The United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty issues and human rights was on an official visit to Romania November 2-11 to assess the Government’s efforts to eradicate poverty, but also to learn about the way the government considers its international obligations to respect human rights in these efforts.

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