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Halandri ( Χαλάνδρι ), is one of Athens' largest suburbs in terms of population, with more than 70,000 residents. It holds an independent municipality status since 1944.
The local Roma communities of Nomismatokopio and Patima have been present in the area of Halandri for the past forty years and consider themselves integral parts of the local population ever since, regardless of differences they may have with their fellow citizens of non Roma origins residing the area. There are discrepancies regarding the living conditions of the two Roma communities in the area, since residents in Patima are not deprived of amenities and they have better financial status, compared to the settlement of Nomismatokopio.
The two communities have different approaches and different needs. Roma citizens in Patima having commerce as main professional activity tend to set priorities based on need s linked to their line of work (licences for space in local markets, education for adults and children, etc.), whereas Roma citizens in Nomismatokopio face more urgent matters and thus prioritise accordingly.
The most urgent issue facing Roma in Nomismatokopio is the housing problem: Roma have settled illegally in the area forty years ago and they have occupied both public and private land. They live in small self-made houses and there is no infrastructure. However, municipality intervention is difficult as it cannot intervene in private (occupied) land and there are many legal and other restrictions.
There is one mediator active in Halandri, trained through the ROMED1 programme in 2014. Also active in the area is the Roma association "Elpida", with an excellent track record in terms of relationship with the local authorities.