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Sinti RomaImage: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/GettyImages

Roma in Europe

March 11, 2013

With 26 countries in the EU Schengen zone and many more ethnic groups, defining cross-border migration is a messy thing. Fears about migration have thus turned to the easily identifiable: Gypsies - and how they live.


Approximateley 200,000 Roma, or "gypsies," call Germany home. In Bulgaria that number is 370,000, and in Romania, 550,000. Other estimates put the two countries' combined total at 1.5 million.

Germany recently blocked a move by Romania and Bulgaria to enter the Schengen zone, Europe's passport-free travel area, placing the principle of a "borderless" Europe into question.

Is it racism? Or is it a reasoned call for better measures to avoid "welfare shopping"?

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