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Petrol station slammed for Roma discrimination

The Local/rm · 6 Oct 2011, 13:31

Published: 06 Oct 2011 13:31 GMT+02:00

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”I am very happy over the verdict. Above all I am grateful that someone was on my side for the first time. As far as I am concerned it has never been about getting compensation but getting satisfaction,” the woman said in a statement.

The incident occurred in October 2009 when the woman arrived at the station in Örebro in eastern Sweden to fill up her car.

When she got out of her vehicle an employee of the station came running out telling her that she had to pay in advance as the station had previously ”had problems with the Roma”.

The case was initially brought up in Örebro district court, which ruled in favour of the petrol station.

However, the verdict was overturned by an appeals court, which ruled on Wednesday that by deviating from the normal procedure of payment after filling up the car with petrol, the station was guilty of discriminating the woman.

According to the Örebro Centre for Equal Rights (Örebro Rättighetscenter), discrimination is still widespread in places where goods and services are being traded, and the centre has received several reports of similar discrimination over the past few years.

”Hopefully this verdict might influence how petrol stations across the country are treating their customers. Any businessman who lets their prejudices govern their actions won't benefit in the long run. Instead they are risking losing both money and reputation,” said the woman's lawyer Vida Paridad in a statement.

Story continues below…

The court ruled that the petrol station pay the woman damages of 5,000 kronor ($730).

It is estimated that there are between 40,000 and 120,000 members of the Roma minority in Sweden today.

The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:08 October 6, 2011 by Abe L
Not good, you can't take the right to protect their business from small business owners. It is perfectly normal in many countries to pay for gasoline in advance. Either by really paying first and then getting the gas, or have them secure your creditcard details first.

And a lot of the regular trust in all consumers is being taken away by the common behavior of groups such as the Roma minority.
14:47 October 6, 2011 by skogsbo
surely it the petrol stations choice who and how they sell their product to, they aren't providing a national service, it's a business deal. If the owners want cash in advance, then that's fair enough.
14:50 October 6, 2011 by naimad
This is just ridiculous! Who can blame the guy?
15:07 October 6, 2011 by abaeterno
Did the attendant at the petrol station think that 'they' would have driven away without paying for petrol? I would be willing to bet that a lot of people feel this way.

It was wrong of the attendant to make the assumption. But where did this assumption come from. Are the Roma people generally considered to be honest and hard working people? In the 40 years I have been alive I have never, knowingly, worked with or seen a Roma working (in the conventional sense). But does this mean that they do not work? Where do they get money from? Do they pay Taxes? And what is their contribution to society?

Many people I have spoken to about the Roma people see them as being insular, untrustworthy and patriarchal.

On the other hand, I have never had a problem with a Roma person. I do not know of anyone who has had any issues with them either but people do seem to be under the impression that they are something to be avoided, but no one I know has even spoken to a 'real' Roma.

One must earn trust. And, trust is a two way street.

I feel like they are partially responsible for the perception society has of them but Knowledge dispels fear. So, Should we have a 'Hug a Roma week'
15:19 October 6, 2011 by vahid
Those women are well-know for their strange action.
15:27 October 6, 2011 by Token-not-found
The worker is blameless.

If 99% of a group behaves a certain way (and we all know the roma) , it is normal to assume that he will also behave that way.

That is something all humans must assume , no matter if we are talking about socio-cultural background, ethnicity or fashion or sub-culture.

Most of the time it is justified.

If i see a girl with fake boobs and fake blond hair - chances are she is a very shallow and decietful , worthless human being, trying to cheat nature and sexual selection.

The vast majority of girls with fake boobs are that way. If you just happen to have fake boobs for other reasons (like health related ones) it is unfortunate that you will be associated with the former specimens , but that's life.

Humans can't be perfect and many sterotypes are true.

In fact , we have several social scientific fields that owe their very nature to stereotyping like psycology or sociology.
16:30 October 6, 2011 by millionmileman
What a concept, here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin we all practically pay at the pump first unless you have a credit. Even worse I have stopped at stations in other states that wanted a set amount of money first. I bitterly complained about, "How in the Sam Hill am I supposed to know how much my tank will take, and that's the way it's goi'n to be!"
16:52 October 6, 2011 by dreddie
It's their business they should be able to run it however the hell they want. If customers don't like it they can shop elsewhere and if business is really wrong, enough people will do it and the business will close or be replaced.
18:13 October 6, 2011 by per1970
Totaly understands the owner of the gas station, and acording to swedish laws, a shop owner even have the right to denie a customer. Sadly he puted it bad to the Roma person.
18:45 October 6, 2011 by jostein
"How to make Roma people hated", convenient handbook by DO in cooperation with Örebro apeals court.
21:12 October 6, 2011 by ROCKYF
I totally agree with the employee , he did what I would have donee if I were having problems with someone , if he were having trouble with Americans or Russians or Italians then whats wrong with protecting your business , Sweden will become like America , afriad to upset someone of a different race , you see where that got us !!! let them shop somewhere else or GO HOME !!!
22:41 October 6, 2011 by Dr. Dillner
I have never met a Gypsy but it is easy for en entire ethnic group to be branded as in any country -- many time, not undeserving. I think the employee should have said simply, "Please pay before pumping" and left it at that.
22:49 October 6, 2011 by dizzymoe33
We have been paying first before pumping gas for about 15-20 years now in the States because too many people drive off and don't pay. It is no problem if you don't use all the money you think you will need for a full tank of gas you can just go in when you are done pumping the gas the get the difference back. It was a hassle when we first started to do it and now it is nothing.
23:13 October 6, 2011 by t64
This is just hilarious. We in America have a very small percentage of Roma and they've earned the same reputation. Always scamming with fraudulent construction or inferior goods to sell, with a charming selling demeanor but quick to turn vicious when charm doesn't work. Of course nobody buys gas without paying first anymore.
02:14 October 7, 2011 by Chickybee
The world is going mad.

The only discrimination that is OK is WASP or against Swedes.

It's OK for 'Swedish' citizens to be involved in terror plots when they have been caught red-handed in Pakistan or Afghanistan or for imams to openly and freely express their desire for ex-Muslims to be killed.

But say one thing about minorities and you're racist.

It's wrong.
02:28 October 7, 2011 by ctinej
For 30 years my auto insurance company has charged me more than women pay, for no other reason than my being male. The companies base their rates on observed reputations we males have earned while driving. This is discriminatory yet they get away with it. It is also good business sense and they need that.

There are ethnic groups that I wont do business with. Having been burned every time I try is enough for me. When my friends tell me awful stories about the same experience, it is like, why bother?? I don't walk through a Ghetto at night alone for the same reason- observed reputation.


Middle age people BELIEVE EVERYTHING


Think about how this saying came to being.

I'm old....I let my past experiences help me with ongoing decisions.

I see a Scandinavian name on a vendor list....I call them first. Baaaaaaad, by some opinions, but it keeps life simple and good. It is an easy pre-screen, and in 45 years working it has been 100% successful. Ill just call myself an insurance company, then it is OK.
05:34 October 7, 2011 by nathan45
@ post # 11 and 15 exactly right
07:51 October 7, 2011 by ericrufinosiah
Normally,you make payment first before you fill up your petrol tank though in this

case there might have have been some unpleasent words expressed ,anyway,I

would say that the majority of the Roma people are just harmless unlike certain

types of immigrants .
09:40 October 7, 2011 by Da Goat
What a brilliant scam! Roma to the end ! I wish I was a racial minority so I could get away with this scam, the petrol station should counter sue claiming they were deliberately defrauded !
10:50 October 7, 2011 by PoJo
I think they took this case too far. What's wrong with paying beforehand? I pay beforehand anyway, it's not such a big deal.
15:13 October 7, 2011 by soultraveler3
It's sick that so many of the commenters above are defending the employee.

If this happened to an Asian, African, Muslim, woman, handicapped person etc. almost ALL of the comments would've been calling the man a racist and rightfully so.

Why is it still okay to be bigoted against the Roma?

Yes, they have a different culture, dress differently and do certain things differently, but those factors could be applied to many different groups. Same goes with supposed crime rates.

Why are they the one group left that it seems okay to be prejudiced against?

Heck, you even hear people that love to call others racist saying nasty things about Roma people. I just don't get it because discrimination is discrimination.

I grew up in the States and we don't have groups of Roma traveling around so maybe I'm missing something, but many European people seem to hate them. The only Roma people I know is a family that bought the house across the street from us when growing up. They were always very nice, the mom was beautiful and there house was beautiful.

I've heard / read the stories about some of them stealing or causing problems, but lumping the entire group together because of that is no different than lumping together all blacks / whites/ Muslims etc. together and making a negative judgement.

If the gas station is having problems with people stealing gas just make everyone use a card or pre-pay. The problem would be solved and they wouldn't have to discriminate against anyone.
15:39 October 7, 2011 by Token-not-found

The roma are unlike anything the western world have seen before.

I live in one of the top roma per capita country.

Before we joined the EU they would constantly blame us and corner us for not taking proper care of the roma.

After we got in the EU and the roma got free moving rights , the anti-roma protests and campaings started flowing like wine at a roman feast all over Europe, specially Spain, Italy and France.

The sympathy from the EU countries , turned to hate and deportation.

The thing is -- they don't want to be integrated, against all efforts to do so.

A roma girl is considered old at 15, most marriages happen (and are being consumed) amongst 10 (lots of 10 year olds give birth in roma culture) to 14 year olds. We cannot allow this to happen in our rule of law countries.

Honest work is viewed as the greatest sin and shame in their culture,anthropology studies say that (and they are dominated by hardcore liberals)

The roma are a problem that will never be solved.

Don't talk about something you know nothing about, Roma people in Sweden are very, very few and in the USA also.

The roma code, in lay men terms is cheat , lie , steal.

Read some anthropological studies about their culture, i'm not making this up.

Hardcore liberals did these studies.
19:09 October 7, 2011 by soultraveler3
That's why I was asking about it and I still don't understand the hate.

Europeans that would never say anything bad about any other ethnic or minority group, often times seem to have no problem at all discriminating against or using derogatory terms against the Roma. It doesn't seem right.

You mention them not wanting to integrate as a problem. What other groups are forced to integrate here? None.

If there's proof that they're forcing children to marry at younger age than allowed by law, government officials and law enforcement agencies should put a stop to it.

Like I said above, we don't really see Roma in that states and I've only seen them here in Sweden a few times, so I don't know that much about them besides that fact that many Europeans seem to hate them.
09:40 October 9, 2011 by Uncle
The judge is an idiot.

The verdict will not cause giving permission to Roma to pay after filling the tanks (since obviously the assumption of the clerk did not come out of thin air), but it will force EVERYONE to pay in advance. Like this, there will be no Roma discrimination and cause to reduction in quality of life to everybody.

This is the result of the understanding that equality in a country means the LOWEST possible denominator and if one does not trust 10% of the customers and is not ready to suffer 10% profits reduction, one has to apply suspicion rules to 100% of the customers by that avoiding legal reprimands.

Roma and refugees cause precisely to this effect, where Sven Svensson has to pay a higher price in stores, because these stores have a huge security personnel that initially was hired because of Islam Ibn Jihad or Pittini Pikko, who come to the store once a month.

This in turn makes the national coin weaker in the sense of buying power, because enormous funds are spread on security cameras, security personnel and scanners. All in the name of EQUALITY. This is why there are huge lines in the airports, face detection cameras in London, huge customs personnel etc...

The answer is to do the maximum to reduce the inflow of nations that statistically pose higher risks to reduce quality of lives of EVERYONE. It is way cheaper to try and assist their countries of origin.
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