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June 2, 2020
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Czech Green Party: Mayors' proposals echo approaches taken by totalitarian regimes

Prague, 23.2.2011 0:32, (ROMEA)

The Czech Green Party is sharply protesting against the proposals made by mayors at a recent meeting in the town of Nový Bydžov to make Czech legislation more repressive with respect to socially excluded citizens. Last week Mayor Louda (ODS) and Czech MP Řápková (ODS) invited more than 50 mayors to challenge the Government of the Czech Republic to adopt their proposed amendments.

The mayors' proposals aim to increase the availability of repressive tools for handling the situations of residents who are socially deprived. The main suggestions included banning residency in a town for persons without permanent residence there who commit misdemeanors, establishing a misdemeanor registry, permitting benefits to those in material distress to be subjected to collections, or publishing information about persons who default on their rent, including the sanctions imposed on them.

"The authors of this call either do not see, or what is more likely, do not want to see, that repression will not deliver a solution to these serious social problems. Their proposals aim to restrict individual liberties so as to ostracize people in difficult social situations and are very close to the approaches taken by totalitarian regimes," Green Party chair Ondřej Liška says.

The proposed plans would have a devastating influence on tens of thousands of people who are today at risk of poverty and would further significantly deteriorate their living situations. The forced migration of these populations would intensify, which would further the reduce their access to legal employment or continuing education. Solidarity between neighboring towns would also be reduced if municipalities had a new legal option at their disposal for expelling some of their residents from their territories to the detriment of other communities. "We primarily see the solution to these problems as lying in preventive, systematic work, in high-quality social services, in support for employment, and in inclusive education," says Klára Laurenčíková, head of the Green Party's Social Policy Section.

"We do not consider it appropriate, when addressing the problem of social exclusion, to place the municipalities and the state in opposition to one another. This issue can only be handled through complete cooperation between municipalities and the state and through mayors supporting the implementation of integration programs. That is the principle through which the government's Agency for Social Inclusion has been successfully working," says Liška. The Green Party pushed through the establishment of the agency in 2008 when they were in government.

Gwendolyn Albert, tisková zpráva, Zdeněk Ryšavý, ryz, Press release of the Green Party, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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