BRATISLAVA (Reuters) - Representatives of Slovakia's gypsies, trying to prevent an exodus of asylum seekers, called on fellow members of their community on Monday not to consider emigration to Britain. "We call on our fellow Roma (gypsy) citizens living in Slovakia not to succumb to the wave of emigration from our country," said the appeal, issued after a meeting with Deputy Premier Jozef Kalman. About 1,000 gypsies from the Czech and Slovak republics have landed in the southern English port of Dover by ferry from France over the past few months, seeking political asylum on the alleged grounds of racial persecution at home. "We appeal to Slovak citizens not to consider emigrating to England and thus avoid further social and economic difficulties they will encounter after returning to their homeland," the statement said. A week ago Britain, worried about the potential influx, announced a tightening of rules governing applications for political asylum. Slovakia insists there is no persecution of minorities in the country and that the asylum seekers are economic migrants. Kalman, responsible for minorities policy, told journalists the government had prepared a series of measures to solve the problems of Slovakia's gypsies. The 85,000-strong gypsy minority is the poorest segment of the population with high unemployment, low education, poor housing and a high crime rate. "The government will discuss the measures at its regular meeting on Tuesday and aims to seek a long-term complex solution to the problems of the Roma ranging from unemployment, housing, education and social life," Kalman said. Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar said last eek Slo~akia was negotiating with French and British authorities to repatriate its gypsies. He said Slovakia was willing to send a bus to collect them but that only 46 of the gypsies were Slovak.