Czech MP wants to introduce concept of "high-risk families and individuals"
Czech MP Otto Chaloupka (Věcí veřejných - Public Affairs), who is known for his hateful statements about Romani people, has published proposed amendments to several laws regulating civil coexistence on his website. Without giving any evidence for his assertions, he claims the welfare system is being abused and must be tightened up.
"The system is generous to people who do not want to work and motivates them to lead an idle lifestyle," Chaloupka has written. He also bragged in that same text about his collaboration with the leadership of the Equal Opportunities Party (Strana rovných příležitostí - SRP), Čeněk Růžička and Štefan Tišer.
High-risk families and individuals
The main point of the MP's proposed "solution" is the introduction of the concept of high-risk families or individuals, defined as a family or individual who has been drawing on aid to those in material distress for a long time, who visits casinos or gaming rooms, who uses alcohol or narcotics, who has used aid to those in material distress for some purpose other than meeting basic needs, who does not support his or her children in their proper school attendance, who commits felonies, etc. "Any so-called 'high-risk individual' will be obliged to report at a certain time during weekdays to a certain place, where he will have to remain eight hours and follow the instructions he is given. Should he fail to meet this obligation, his welfare benefits will be cancelled," Chaloupka has written.
Some other points of Chaloupka's proposals are as follows:
- Families, in his view, should be motivated to maximally support their children in receiving the highest possible level of education, both through receiving special rewards for their children's good school results (such as financial remuneration or lunch tickets) and through being sanctioned for their unexcused absences and poor school results (by being assigned to the group of so-called "high-risk families/individuals" with the results described above).
- Laws should facilitate the payment of debts (fines, etc.) through performing community service.
- The conditions for selecting children to attend the "practical primary schools" (previously called the "special schools") should be unified (one sole methodology should be used). Neither children's parents nor school directors would participate in the decision as to where children should be educated.
- Legislation should be introduced to restrict the abuse of housing benefits by landlords by establishing the minimum amount of space required per person in a residence.
Chaloupka also praised SRP representatives Čeněk Růžička and Štefan Tišer. Previously he had labeled them and other Romani leaders "parasites" who just wanted to get advantages for themselves by establishing a political party. The MP now says his expert consultation with SRP representatives was of great benefit to his proposals.
At the end of his online text, Chaloupka reiterates the lie that has been repeated so often in racist circles that it is considered the truth, namely, that the justice system and police deploy a double standard, providing Romani people with privileges that others do not receive in the Czech Republic. "The immediate resolution of this currently exacerbated situation is up to the justice system and the police, who must immediately stop taking into consideration the skin color of those who perpetrate crime and those who are the victims of crime," the MP writes.
Statement from the SRP
News server Romea.cz has reached out to the SRP representatives who met with MP Chaloupka. Party chair Štefan Tišer and First Vice-Chair Čeněk Růžička sent the following response, which we are publishing in full translation:
"Ninety-five percent of what is presented in that proposal (which is just an incomplete sketch) are Mr Chaloupka's ideas. We do not believe these ideas correspond to the European mindset. They are evidence of the fact that Mr Chaloupka lived for a rather long time in America and his material has been influenced by his American experiences. We do not believe the MP's proposal will be taken literally. The term 'high-risk individuals' is one that detectives and police use in their internal documents, not for public discourse. Naturally, we will attentively follow the development of his proposals.
We were particularly interested in the point about the education of our children, i.e., children from vulnerable social environments. It is evident that this is a reference to Romani children. The idea that a reviewable decision on whether to assign a child into a mainstream or a practical school should be decided on solely by experts is my idea and the SRP party stands by it. This would help our children, us, and society as a whole in unbelievable ways. Those experts, under threat of harsh sanctions, would not be able to evaluate the children on any basis other than that of their actual state of health and their decisions would be reviewable. Motivating parents by providing them with lunch tickets for their children and financial remuneration for good grades would definitely also help. We have been discussing how to motivate greater participation in education for a long time. Mr Chaloupka will doubtless want to consult his proposals with his colleagues before submitting them officially. What if the other MPs notice these ideas and implement them? Isn't it worth trying? We are convinced that meeting with him made sense."
Chaloupka's previous statements about Romani people
Otto Chaloupka has unfortunately made a name for himself by making the following statements (and others) about Romani people:
"Romani leaders first and foremost should start making decent livings somehow. They are parasites on the Romani community the same way the Romani community is a parasite on the majority society...."
"Romani people are establishing a political party once more. What do they expect from this? More leverage to gain more advantages? What more advantages could they possibly want?"
"Today [the Roma] don't have to work, they just complain all the time, a wave of physical violence is rising against the majority society and we just keep backing down.... I understand the effort to do something about this, to do our best to include them, to re-educate one generation of these inadaptables and give them all the conditions in which to become decent people who won't bother anyone and won't be scorned by anyone, but how many years has it been already that we have been doing our best to include them somehow and it has had no effect? What is problematic is that this costs a lot of money and delivers no results, that's how it is with them from one generation to the next, and they are making no effort to change it. They cost us hundreds of millions of crowns, and what do we get for that investment? Physical attacks, robbery, shoplifting, etc. If you don't work, then you don't deserve anything. If you start shoplifting, you should be sent to prison. I've heard the opinion that if we take away their welfare they will commit even more crime. No, if you do something like that you will go to prison and next time you'll think twice about it. Until the revolution it was obligatory to work here. The Gypsies had to work hard. They got shovels, and while some of them just used them to lean on, at least they had to be somewhere during working hours and pretend to work. Today they don't have to work, they just keep complaining, a wave of physical violence is rising against the majority society and we just keep backing down. What are we waiting for? For them to slice us up on the street with machetes, to steal pensioners' wallets, etc., with impunity? If someone [non-Romani] assaults a Gypsy then it's a racially motivated felony and he will be punished to the full extent of the law, but when a Gypsy beats up a white woman, robs an elderly lady or rapes, terrorizes and tortures a 12-year-old white boy, he gets the same punishment as if all he did was lift a wallet. It can't go on like this and it's heading for a big row. Once people see that the state won't take care of them, then they will take matters into their own hands and it will be bad. I won't be surprised."
When Romani leader František Tomáš recently called on the mayor of Duchcov to come to a Romani meeting, Chaloupka responded as follows:
"That was very clever of that gypsy leader. They do not lack arrogance or presumption. People are on edge, all it will take is a couple more gypsy provocations and it will kick off. Even riot police won't protect them then."
Chaloupka also posted the following open letter to Mr Tomáš on his personal Facebook profile:
"Decent people have long put up with aggression, thievery, and unjustified demands for more and more advantages. As every reasonable person knows, this can't go on forever .... People have had enough, Mr Tomáš. They are out of patience. Each one of your provocations pushes us toward that imaginary line in the sand. You keep pushing, so something has to give, and soon. Do not rely on being protected by the state or on being permitted to do anything you like. People here do not feel protected by the state, and it is only a question of time before they take their own protection into their own hands. After that, Mr Tomáš, it will be bad. Take it from me, this is a good piece of free advice."
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