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Czech Christian Democrats: Ethnic origin must never be a parameter for judging anyone

Prague, 8.11.2013 1:02, (ROMEA)
Daniel Herman, spokesperson for the Christian Democrats in the Czech Republic (2013). Photo:   ÚSTR
Daniel Herman, spokesperson for the Christian Democrats in the Czech Republic (2013). Photo: ÚSTR

In a recent interview for the anti-Romani tabloid periodical Parlamentní listy, Czech Senator Jiří Čunek has once again expressed his peculiar approach toward Romani people. Čunek told the tabloid that he would like to be appointed by the party to a cabinet post so he could address the issue of Romani people.    

"I would take responsibility for addressing the problematic Romani people in the Czech Republic. The Government of the Czech Republic must stop sticking its head in the sand," Čunek told the tabloid.  

The Christian Democratic senator's statement labels all Romani people as problematic. His first move would reportedly be to introduce the "obligation to work" for long-term unemployed Roma. 

In response to this interview, news server Romea.cz sent several questions by e-mail to the spokesperson for the Czech Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL), Daniel Herman. Here are his responses:

Q:  How much does the KDU-ČSL agree with Jiří Čunek's view of Romani people, which labels all of them as "problematic"? 

A:  The KDU-ČSL's unequivocal standpoint is that ethnic origin must never be a parameter for judging anyone. Everyone should be judged according to his or her individual life. We also reject any kind of generalization.  

Q:  If the KDU-ČSL enters government, is the party counting on Jiří Čunek being given a cabinet post?

A:  The current state of negotiations about our eventual involvement in a governing coalition has not yet reached the phase of personnel questions.

Q:  If the senator were to receive a cabinet post, would he be in charge of the topic of Romani people?

A:  Currently the topic of Romani people is handled in the KDU-ČSL by the chair of our Social Commission and the party vice-chair, MP Ing. Jan Bartošek, who, in collaboration with former Czech Government Human Rights Commissioner Monika Šimůnková, invited Ing. Karel Holomek to serve on that commission.   

Q:  What does the KDU-ČSL (and its chair, Bělobrádek) think of the idea of instituting an "obligation to work" for long-term unemployed Romani people?

A:  The laws of the Czech Republic recognize no "obligation to work".   

Q:  To what degree do Jiří Čunek's ideas about addressing the topic of Romani people differ from the party's own program?

A:  As I indicated in my response to your previous question, the party's Social Commission handles that topic. Senator Čunek is not a member of that commission.


František Kostlán, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Tags:  

Čunek útočí na Romy, Politika, Romové, Xenofobie, Xenofobní výroky Jiřího Čunka, Zaměstnanost, zprávy, Anticiganismus, vládní zmocněnkyně pro lidská práva, antigypsyism, Czech Government Human Rights Commissioner, Czech Republic, Czech Christian Democrats, Karel Holomek



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