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Czech Green Party: Roma should be represented in Parliament

Brno, 16.10.2013 17:53, (ROMEA)
--ilustrační foto--
--ilustrační foto--

The chair of the Equal Opportunities Party (Strana rovných příležitostí - SRP), Štefan Tišer, and Jozef Miker, an SRP member running as a candidate on the Green Party ticket in the Ústí Region, traveled to Moravia to support the Greens in their campaign there. Yesterday they met with the Romani community in Brno, today they will visit the Romani community in Břeclav and Hodonín, and tomorrow they will travel to Ostrava, where they will support two other Romani SRP members running on the Green Party ticket, Bc. Antonie Burianská and Elena Gorolová. 

Romani members of the SRP are running on Green Party candidate lists in other regions as well. Speaking at a press conference in Brno yesterday, SRP chair Štefan Tišer said:  "The reason the Equal Opportunities Party decided to enter into long-term collaboration with the Green Party is that this is a continuation of our ongoing cooperation, particularly the participation and support of Green Party members and party chair Ondřej Liška during the anti-Romani demonstrations, as well as the Green Party's position on the commemorative [Romani Holocaust] site at Lety by Písek. We were contacted by other political parties too, but the Green Party's program agrees most closely with our own and we have good experience with our collaboration to date. Why is the SRP fielding candidates? The situation in the Czech Republic is tense and it is not possible to passively watch while even representatives of local governments stand on the side of right-wing extremists. We began as a party in Rotava, where we initiated the establishment of a citizens' commission to address problems with community service work, loan-sharking, and the residential hotels. The anti-Romani demonstrations are costing this society a great deal of money and solve nothing. This has been artificially instigated, it served the purposes of the government of [former Czech PM] Petr Nečas to find someone to blame for so-called welfare abuse.[1] The situation of the poor and those at risk of poverty has deteriorated the most during the government of Petr Nečas and [Labor Minister] Drábek. There is a need to intervene against loan-sharking, to pass a law on social housing, and to ensure the Anti-Discrimination Act is upheld. The activity of the state Labor Offices must not be replaced by private employment agencies providing only short-term job opportunities. The Labor Offices should, on the contrary, be organizing re-qualification opportunities for the long-term unemployed. Such measures would aid all impoverished people in Czech society, not just Romani ones."     

RNDr. Jitka Seitlová, the leading candidate on the Green Party list in the South Moravian Region, added the following:  "The previous government grossly underestimated resolving this situation and now all of society is paying the price. For the time being, we have not yet managed to prevent Romani children who are capable of graduating from standard primary schools and achieving higher educations from being enrolled into the 'practical' schools. These people then grapple for the rest of their lives with the handicap of a lower education. We support more wide-ranging activities by NGOs to help edify families with information that will lead their children into mainstream education and create good conditions there for them. The most effective collaboration with such families can be achieved if Romani people themselves are working in the NGOs. This could also be a motivation for Romani people to undergo re-qualification and get jobs." 

Jana Drápalová, mayor of the Municipal Department of Nový Lískovec in the city of Brno, said she considers it essential to accelerate the adoption of a law on social housing. She also said municipalities will not be able to solve this problem on their own without significant support from the state.

Candidate Jozef Miker said the adoption of anti-Romani ordinances by municipalities has been supported by town councilors from the Czech Social Democratic Party and the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia. Such ordinances have, for example, banned gathering or sitting in specific public areas.

Author's Note:

[1] When the unrest began in the Šluknov district in 2011, the prime minister commented on it as follows: "Generous social benefits are to blame for this unrest".


Mgr. Martin Ander, Ph.D., head of the Green Party organization in the City of Brno, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Strana rovných příležitostí, Strana zelených, Czech republic, ČSSD, Election 2013, news, Praktické školy, Roma



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