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Anti-Romani lies spread online, Czech Labor Ministry refutes them

Prague, 19.10.2011 12:38, (ROMEA)

More false claims targeting Romani people are circulating through the internet. The authors of the e-mails claim Romani people will not have to perform community service work like everyone else in order to access welfare in future. The reality is the opposite: Romani people are likely to be primarily impacted by the policy requiring the performance of such work. The Czech Labor and Social Affairs Ministry has responded to the rumors on its website.

The ministry points out that chain e-mails have recently been spreading absurd, alarming, dangerous information in the style of a classic hoax. One such e-mail reads as follows:

"Unemployed people who have been collecting unemployment benefit for more than two months will have to perform community service. However, Gypsies don't draw that benefit, because they were never employed to start with. They receive welfare benefits which are not linked to the performance of community service. The solution invented by our governing elite is not targeted on getting Gypsies to start working, but against the rest of us who were employed for years and responsibly made our social security payments into the state coffers."

"This is of course pure nonsense," the Labor Ministry has responded. The ministry will be requiring community service as of 1 January 2012 of all persons who have been "long-term unemployed, i.e., primarily of those unemployed persons who, on the contrary, are no longer entitled to unemployment benefit and are therefore very often the recipients of welfare for the socially deprived. Should they refuse to perform community service, their right to those benefits will expire."

The ministry is currently designing a methodological instruction manual on how to select the persons to whom this work will be offered. The selection process will particularly emphasize "including persons who are presumed to be abusing the system either through their passive approach to seeking jobs or because they work under the table."

František Kostlán, Gwendolyn Albert, František Kostlán, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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