Roma: 96% in Greece and 80% in Europe at risk of poverty, according to research

Roma in Greece

80% of Roma in Europe live at risk of poverty, with the corresponding percentage in Greece and Portugal reaching 96%, in Spain and Italy 98% and in Croatia 93%. These are reflected in a survey by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA).

At the same time, Roma families experience bad educational and professional prospects all over Europe.

The research was conducted in ten European countries - Greece, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Spain, North Macedonia and Serbia. Also, FRA supported the collection of data on Roma in Bulgaria and Slovakia.

In total, it conducted interviews with almost 8,500 Roma and collected data on 20,000 Roma and their family members.

The research concerns the living conditions of the Roma, and the discrimination and violence they have suffered. It also looks at progress since the previous survey in 2016. As it turns out, little progress has been made over the past six years.

More than half of Roma in Greece feel discriminated

One in four Roma in the countries surveyed has experienced discrimination at least once in the last twelve months when looking for work, education, healthcare, housing, transport, public services or in private enterprises.

In Greece, more than half of Roma feel discriminated against and the percentage is among the highest in Europe. Also, 41% of Roma in Greece have experienced hate-motivated harassment and this percentage is the highest in Europe.

52% of Roma in Europe live in poor housing conditions, while 48% experience severe material deprivation. 22% live in households without running water and 33% do not have an indoor toilet.

29% of Roma children live in households where a member went to bed without eating at least once in the last month. Only 27% of Roma aged 20-24 have completed Secondary Education and the corresponding percentage in Greece is 16%, one of the lowest in Europe (along with Portugal, the Czech Republic and Romania).

Younger people, women and girls experience even greater exclusion

In pre-school education (from the age of three and above) the percentage of Roma children who attend schools is 44%.

In this area, the Czech Republic and Greece show an increase in enrollment rates compared to 2016. However, in Greece, one in three Roma boys may attend preschool, but for girls the rate is lower, with one in four attending.

In some countries the employment prospects have improved, such as in Hungary and Italy, but in others employment rates remain low, especially for young people and women. Just 43% of Roma aged 20-64 across Europe are in paid work or have worked in the last four weeks, and in Greece this figure is 33%.

READ MORE: Greek NGO warns worsening food, energy poverty amid rocketing prices.