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Swedish hotel denies breakfast to Roma guest

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Swedish hotel denies breakfast to Roma guest
Erik Ullenhag, Singoalla Millon, Crown Princess Victoria, and Rosa Taikon at the white-paper release. Photo: TT
16:58 CET+01:00
A Swedish expert invited by the government to speak at the release of its white paper on Roma discrimination was on Tuesday denied entry to the breakfast room at Stockholm's Sheraton hotel. She had to drink her coffee in the lobby.

Diana Nyman, the chairman of the Roma Council in Gothenburg, was set to speak at the release of the white paper on discrimination of Roma and travellers in Sweden.

The government put her up at the four-star Sheraton Hotel, a stone's throw away from parliament and the government quarter, but when Nyman, 45, went down for breakfast she was offered a modern-day example of the discrimination that the white-paper on Tuesday admitted had been endemic in Sweden.

Nyman, who wears a traditional wide black skirt and frilly blouse and who recently fielded questions about beggars in an online chat, said she was almost knocked over by a staff member who rushed to bar the Roma expert and speaker from entering the breakfast room. 

"Even after I had showed that I'd paid for breakfast the staff insisted that I stay in the lobby," Nyman told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper (DN) on Tuesday. "They got me coffee so I could drink it there instead." 

A spokesperson for Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag said the incident would lead his office to "revise" its policy of offering invited guests to stay overnight at the Sheraton. 

Thomas Johansson, spokesman for the Sheraton, told The Local via email that the company was launching an internal investigation into the matter.

"We apologise for any inconvenience and embarrassment that this has caused Ms Nyman. Please rest assured that the hotel does not tolerate any discriminatory behaviour," he added.

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