I'm back at "work" after a long weekend in Copenhagen, Denmark with a few reflections and a brief update from Vienna.
Tania, I enjoyed your description of Denmark. The culture and lifestyle actually sounds a lot like Ottawa, Canada, where I live. Maybe that’s why I love Danish movies, TV and books so much! Fortunately things are not quite as expensive here in Canada, although it’s definitely a struggle for many, due to incredibly expensive housing and high taxes.
Tanja, I greatly appreciate the work you do for Ukrainian refugees in Austria and I am grateful for the stories and insights you provide in your newsletters.
However, I can't let your comments about the Romani people slide. It *is* racist — whether you want to do the self-work on this or not. I really struggle imagine which "decades of lived experiences" you've had that can be solely attributed to this one group of people, who already suffer such terrible prejudice and social exclusion within Europe.
May I remind you that Ukraine has a significant Romani population and many of them are risking their lives on the frontline right now? They've particularly suffered since the full-scale war started, and have had even less access to aid and asylum in the EU than other refugees from Ukraine.
The way you wrote about the Romani undermines the other humanitarian commitments you've been making. I really hope you will reflect on this and acknowledge that your comments were unacceptable.