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June 24, 2018
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Czech Republic

"Lustig Train - Rescue Train" will once again commemorate events from the time of the Second World War at Terezín. (PHOTO: vlaklustig.cz)

Week-long education event at Terezín also honors genocide of Roma with concert and flag

24.6.2018 15:15 On 22 June yet another year of the Vlak Lustig ("Lustig Train") project began in the spaces of the former Jewish ghetto at Terezín, the aim of which is to inform the public, including schoolchildren, aout the causes and consequences of genocides in world history. This year the project will include information about Holocaust victims who are Romani.  full story

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Martina Horváthová on building a network of Romani feminists in the Czech Republic

23.6.2018 13:05 Martina Horváthová was once on her way to becoming one of the first Romani doctors in the Czech Republic. "Our parents always told us we had to be at least three times better than the gadje for us to even be noticed and recognized by them," she recalls.  full story

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Czech court rules activists did not enrich themselves by using abandoned building, state may go to Supreme Court

22.6.2018 10:32 The Autonomous Social Center "Klinika" and its representative, Tereza Virtová, do not have to pay the state CZK 360 000 [EUR 14 000] for using real estate in Prague 3 during 2016 for several months without authorization. On 20 June the appeals venue, the Prague Municipal Court, upheld the previous verdict from the first-instance District Court, which rejected a lawsuit filed by the state and found that no "unjust enrichment" had occurred.  full story

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Czech court rules in favor of songwriter's widow, xenophobic band loses prize named after him without authorization

22.6.2018 8:40 The Czech organization that gave a music award named after the songwriter Karel Kryl to the frontman for the xenophobic Ortel band, Tomáš Ortel, have lost their appeal of the lawsuit filed against them by the songwriter's widow. The Gold Award for the Legacy of Karel Kryl was given to Ortel last spring by a group called People for the People (Lidé lidem) that actually was not authorized to use the songwriter's name at all.
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Czech region where evictions are underway keeps rejecting plans to subsidize lunches for impoverished schoolchildren

21.6.2018 11:20 News server iDNES.cz reports that the Ústecký Regional Assembly has refused to support a motion from its Regional Council to allocate regional finances to cover the costs of lunches at school for children from impoverished families. The assembly members were especially bothered by the fact that the financing was to have been distributed through a nonprofit organization.  full story

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Czech PM, in speech about EU, says migration problems have caused a rise in extremist politics

21.6.2018 6:44 Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) has reiterated his belief that he considers the biggest problem facing the EU today to be that of illegal migration. In a speech opening a three-day international conference on 19 June called the "Prague European Summit", the PM said migration problems have caused the rise of extremist politics and created disputes among states.  full story

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Czech President verbally assails residential hotel evictees, supports city's move to abolish housing benefits entirely

19.6.2018 15:40 Czech President Miloš Zeman perceives declaring municipal territories "housing benefit-free zones" to be part of combating poverty. He would agree with declaring all of the City of Ústí nad Labem such a zone.  full story

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videoCivil society members of Czech Govt Roma Council leave meeting in protest against housing benefit-free zones

19.6.2018 15:03 Romani civil society members of the Czech Govt Council for Romani Minority affairs have left the Council meeting today to protest the current Government's social policy. They are demanding the abolition of housing benefit-free zones and the withdrawal of a bill to amend the Act on Aid to Those in Material Distress even further in a restrictive direction.  full story

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videoLIVE: Civil society members of Czech Govt Council for Romani Minority Affairs make statement

19.6.2018 13:24 At 13:30 the civil society members of the Czech Government Council for Romani Minority Affairs will give a statement about the introduction of the legal provision for municipalities to declare areas on their territories as "localities with an increased incidence of socially undesirable phenomena", the so-called "housing benefit-free zones". The Council already called this legal provision in the law on aid to those in material distress discriminatory during its 8 November 2017 session.  full story

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Czech Labor and Social Affairs Minister says nobody has to live on the street after residential hotels close

19.6.2018 12:38 The City of Ústí nad Labem is doing its best to gradually arrange housing for the people from two residential hotels that are closing at the end of June. According to City Hall, they have managed to find replacement housing for more than half of the people affected.  full story

Czech capital sees commemoration of parachutists who assassinated Nazi leader in 1942

19.6.2018 10:37 Hundreds of people including politicians commemorated the parachutists who carried out a successful attack in 1942 against the Nazi Reichsprotektor Reinhard Heydrich by visiting the Cathedral of St. Cyril and Methodius in Resslova Street in Prague yesterday morning. At noon, representatives of the Prague 2 local authority unveiled memorial cobblestones to the fallen parachutists embedded in the sidewalk across from the cathedral where they heroically fought and died.  full story

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Czech President's staff criticize inclusion of "Freedom and Direct Democracy" party in extremism report

19.6.2018 9:25 Czech President Zeman's staff are criticizing the inclusion of the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" (SPD) party of Tomio Okamura among the actors mentioned in the Report on Extremism for 2017 produced by the Department of Crime Prevention and Security Policy at the Czech Interior Ministry. According to the Office of the President, the SPD should not be mentioned by the report.  full story

Families with children facing eviction sue Czech city for putting them at risk of homelessness

18.6.2018 19:20 Tenants of residential hotels that are closing are in a situation of acute danger of homelessness and have filed suit against the City of Ústí nad Labem with the Regional Court. One part of their lawsuit is a motion for a preliminary injunction to halt the application of the "measures of a general nature" which the city is using to limit where housing subsidies are disbursed on their territory, including in impoverished localities.  full story

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videoKarel Karika: We will rehouse all 70 people from the residential hotel on Klíšská Street

18.6.2018 15:29 The Vice-Mayor of the central municipal department in the city of Ústí nad Labem, Karel Karika, told news server Romea.cz during the 14 June demonstration against the closure of the residential hotels there that he will arrange accommodation for all inhabitants of the Klíšská residential hotel by the end of this month. "We warned about this situation one year ago, we were the only movement in Ústí to disagree with announcing zones where housing benefits are not able to be disbursed," Karika told ROMEA TV.  full story

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Czech Green Party says current housing crisis involving Romani evictees makes previous ones seem humane by comparison

18.6.2018 15:01 The leadership of the Green Party in the Ústecký Region of the Czech Republic is appealing to the leadership of the City of Ústí nad Labem to arrange crisis housing for the inhabitants of two residential hotels that are closing as of 30 June because as many as 230 people, 80 of them children, now living in the buildings in the city center and the Střekov quarter could end up living on the streets. "City Hall, through its decision to officially designate zones in the city where new arrivals will no longer be eligible for housing beneifts, has triggered a wave of reactions," their press release reports.  full story

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Social worker associations ask Czech city not to "abuse" social work

18.6.2018 13:58 Three associations of professional social workers - the Association of Educators in Social Work, the Social Workers' Society, and the Professional Chamber of Social Workers - have sent open letters about the housing crisis developing in the Czech city of Ústí nad Labem, and news server Romea.cz is publishing both letters in full translation below. One of the letters is addressed to fellow social workers there and calls on them to perform their jobs in accordance with "social work values" when fulfilling the city's commissions.  full story

Czech Republic: Romani secondary school students can apply for scholarships, deadline is 15 July

18.6.2018 10:11 Romani secondary school students are now able to apply for scholarships for the 2018/2019 school year from the ROMEA organization. Online applications can be sent in until 18 July through the online application form at www.romskastipendia.cz.  full story

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Czech Social Democrats would withdraw controversial plan to further restrict housing benefits

17.6.2018 10:13 If the Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) is put in charge of the Labor and Social Affairs Ministry as part of the next Government, then it will withdraw a controversial planned bill to further restrict housing benefits. Czech MP Jan Chvojka (ČSSD) announced that plan during the 14 June debate in the lower house.  full story

Czech village wants to stop housing benefits altogether, plans to buy up apartment buildings

17.6.2018 9:27 The village of Trmice in the Ústecký Region of the Czech Republic is defending itself against a potential influx of impoverished, problematic residents. Its local council has requested an expansion to its "measures of a general nature", on the basis of which new arrivals to the village will not be awarded housing benefits anywhere on its territory.  full story

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Czech Social Democrats revoke membership of one "trafficker in poverty" while ignoring another

17.6.2018 8:35 The Czech Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) has revoked the membership of Petr Trabalka, who owns a problematic building inhabited by impoverished tenants in the town of Děčín. Party member Marcel Běhounek, an assembly member for the Severní Terasa Municipal Department of Ústí nad Labem, is also allegedly a slumlord in that same part of the country - but has not been asked to give up his party membership.  full story

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