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Roma Ethnic Minority in Baia Mare

Photographer: Zsolt Czegledi

 

The living conditions of the Roma community in the shantytown called Craica remains unchanged except that things are a bit easier in summer.

 

Baia Mare has a population of about 150,000 people and lies near the Romanian borders with Hungary and Ukraine. Originally, around 1,500 Roma people lived in Craica on the outskirts of the city. But they are considered as illegal squatters and plans to relocate them for the better are in abeyance.

 

The slum area has no clean water and only a limited electricity supply. Selling scrap iron salvaged from abandoned mines in the area is their main source of income.

 

Since 2011, local authorities have been demolishing shanties and rehousing Roma families in various types of accommodation, ranging from disused factories to old government offices.

 

The local government says it is trying to lift the Roma out of poverty by giving them better housing and improving their access to education and employment. But plans to build modern social housing for the Roma consisting of 500 light structure, modular homes are still in limbo.