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Last Updated: Monday, 25 July, 2005, 17:21 GMT 18:21 UK
German state to protect Gypsies
Germany's Rhineland-Palatinate state has committed itself to protecting the language and culture of the Roma and Sinti minority - also known as Gypsies.

Their history will be taught in state schools - including details of their persecution by the Nazis.

State Governor Kurt Beck said Rhineland-Palatinate wanted to make a difference regarding their rights.

Community leaders had called for more protection, saying they continued to face discrimination in everyday life.

There are about 80,000 Roma and Sinti living in Germany, 10% of them in Rhineland-Palatinate.

Rhineland-Palatinate is the first German state to agree to give formal protection to Sinti and Roma.

"With this agreement we want to make a difference in terms of discrimination and the rights of the Sinti and Roma in society," Mr Beck said after signing the agreement.

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