Czech Agriculture Ministry wants to collaborate with Romani business group, says Czech Forests already working with one
News server Lidovky.cz reported on 8 July that the Association of Romani Entrepreneurs and Guilds was alleging that "nobody" has responded to their offer to provide Romani workers to combat the bark beetle calamity. The Agriculture Ministry, however, says it welcomes the aid and that negotiations will begin soon.
The Association offered 1 000 workers at the beginning of June by sending an open letter to Environment Minister Richard Brabec (ANO) and to the previous Agriculture Minister. As of 8 July nobody interested in the minority members' aid had contacted the Association, according to them.
"We just keep hearing how many workers are needed and not yet found all over the country to liquidate the bark beetle calamity. Not one enterprise, firm or institution has contacted us in the three weeks since we made our offer, not even the ministries we wrote to," Association president Vladimír Leško told news server Lidovky.cz.
The ministries reject the characterization that they are not interested in such collaboration. Because the Environment Ministry will not be hiring workers for the bark beetle eradication, Brabec is said to have agreed with the previous Agriculture Minister that an agriculture representative would be the one to meet with representatives of the Association.
Because of personnel changes at the Agriculture Ministry, however, that meeting has not yet taken place, but the new Agriculture Minister, Miroslav Toman (for the Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD) is interested in the collaboration. "The minister has a meeting scheduled with the president of the Association of Romani Entrepreneurs and Guilds, Vladimír Leško, on 12 July, where specific steps should be discussed," the press department of the Agriculture Ministry told Lidovky.cz as of 8 July.
"It is also necessary to state that Czech Forests has already responded to such an aid offer - Jiří Groda, who is entrusted with managing the Forest and Water Management Section of Czech Forests, is communicating with Mr Marcel Ščuka, chair of the Statewide Association of Socially Responsible Romani Guilds and Entrepreneurs, about decorning jobs, the harvesting of mowed materials, and mining jobs," the ministry told Lidovky.cz. Currently the specific firms, jobs and workers are said to be in the process of being contracted.
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