Czech PM: Government is gradually meeting the 10-point plan for Šluknov
Today at 16:00 CET, mayors in the Šluknov foothills held a demonstration "against crime". They are primarily bothered by the stance of the Czech Government, which they believe is not doing much to address the situation. In a press release issued by the Office of the Government, Czech PM Petr Nečas has refuted those claims. In his view, the Government is gradually fulfilling all of the points of the 10-point plan for Šluknov. News server Romea.cz publishes the press release in full translation below.
Press release from Czech Prime Minister Petra Nečas
In response to the planned protest gathering convened today by the mayors of towns and villages in the Šluknov foothills, Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas says the following: "Under no circumstances is the Government indifferent to the situation in that region. On the contrary, the cabinet is taking many steps to aid Šluknov district, which was preyed upon by social unrest a year ago, and not just through the Czech Government Human Rights Commissioner and the Agency for Social Inclusion, but also through measures adopted by various ministries."
The coalition government is gradually fulfilling all of the points of the 10 demands for Šluknov issued by the mayors in the region on 2 September 2011:
1) A special forces riot unit comprised of 50 members of the Czech Police is working in Šluknov district.
2) The Government has approved an amendment to the law on the budgetary designation of tax revenue in order to give more advantages to smaller towns.
3) The Government is reviewing a study performed by the Czech Finance Ministry on the socially pathological impacts of gambling facilities on society and, on the basis of that study, will enter into negotiations on amendments to the law on the operation of gaming rooms.
4) A draft amendment to the law on waste management is currently being discussed by the Government Legislative Council and amendments to several decrees in this area have also been drafted. Nevertheless, the current legislation already provides for the requested regulation of the purchase of waste materials.
5) The introduction of a Central Misdemeanor Registry is now in the phase of submission of a draft amendment to the misdemeanor law by the Czech Justice Ministry.
6) The police are proceeding more thoroughly against drug crime and have implemented special operations.
7) Since 1 November 2011 an amendment to the Civil Code has been in effect which establishes in Section 689 that a lessor has the right to require that an apartment be occupied by a proportionate number of tenants and no more. A lessor has the right to withhold consent, in the rental contract, to the acceptance of other persons residing in the apartment, with the exception of immediate family.
8) We are emphasizing law enforcement in the Czech Republic and more rapid and more thorough punishments of crimes and misdemeanors.
9) The disbursal of social welfare subsidies must be fair and motivating for all citizens of the Czech Republic. As of 1 January 2012, the disbursal of non-insurance related subsidies was unified and now takes place from Czech Labor Offices only. The payment of the aid in material distress benefit is even more tightly connected to clients' activities in seeking employment.
10) According to the amendment to the law on employment that took effect on 1 January 2012, after two months of receiving unemployment benefits, the Labor Office may recommend unemployment benefits applicants perform up to 20 hours of community service per week.
The Government will be reviewing its evaluation of the procedures performed by the public administration bodies as part of addressing the escalation of tensions in the Šluknov foothills. The report on that evaluation will focus on specific troubled areas which led, directly or indirectly, to last year's unrest, i.e., questions in particular of education, employment, housing, security, and the social arena. It will give an overview of the measures implemented by the various ministries and will enumerate recommendations for other procedures to be taken by the public administration during situations in which tensions escalate.
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