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Roma flower sellers fight stall ban

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Roma flower sellers fight stall ban


Flower stalls are part of the traditional landscape in the Romanian capital, Bucharest. But now the city council says it wants to shut them down. The flower sellers are furious. One woman explained her father had joined a rally to defend the family stall. She said flowers were part of the city’s beauty and locals and tourists alike love them.

Nearly all of Bucharest’s stall holders are from the Roma community. They say they are being discriminated against. They organised a march and have lodged a formal complaint against the council’s decision. For many families the stalls are the only means of income and they fear they will have to leave Romania to seek work elsewhere if they are shut down. An elderly seller said she had been selling flowers since she was seven years old. When her father was killed in World War II, the stall put bread in the mouths of three children.

Romania has been trying to regulate street traders since it joined the European Union in January. Newspaper stands have already been closed down. The flower sellers are determined not to follow suit.

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