Czech President alleges Romani people "do not want to work" and that "slapping them" is the best way to deal with them
Czech President Miloš Zeman recently visited the Olomouc Region and spoke at a public meeting in Kojetín during which he insulted Romani people, saying in the context of unemployment that it was absolutely clear "who" the 5 % of people without work in Kojetín are. He then went on to praise the example of the pre-1989 totalitarian era, when Romani people "had to work" and would be imprisoned if they did not.
News server Seznam Zprávy first reported on the President's racist speech yesterday. "I am decidedly no friend of communism, but during communism Romani people had to work," Zeman said in Kojetín during his three-day visit to the region.
"Most of them worked as ditch-diggers, and if they refused to work, they were designated as work-shy and went to prison," the President said. "The Romani labor platoons were led by Romani men who had natural authority."
"If somebody on their team didn't work, they slapped him around. It's a very humane method that worked most of the time," the President said, to which Olomouc Regional Governor Ladislav Okleštěk and Mayor of Kojetín Jiří Šírek responded by laughing.
This is not the first time the current President has verbally abused Romani people - in November 2017, speaking on the television program "This Week with the President", which is regularly broadcast by the Barrandov cable television station, Zeman alleged that 90 % of the "inadaptable citizens" of the Czech Republic are from the Romani minority and just 10 % are "white drifters". Speaking on the same program in June 2017, he cast doubt on whether the state should buy out the industrial pig farm in Lety u Písku that had been built at the site of a former concentration camp for Romani people during the Second World War.
On that occasion Zeman deceptively alleged that demolition of the farm would cost the public a billion crowns. He was also together with Regional Governor Okleštěk when he decided to cast doubt on whether a physical attack committed against an African man on a tram in Prague by football hooligans had been racist in nature.
- Czech Agriculture Ministry wants to collaborate with Romani business group, says Czech Forests already working with one
- Czech President verbally assails residential hotel evictees, supports city's move to abolish housing benefits entirely
- Czech President's staff criticize inclusion of "Freedom and Direct Democracy" party in extremism report
- Czech President pushing Czech PM into Government with right-wing extremists
- Czech President Zeman re-elected
- Czech antigypsyist ultra-right party expresses support for incumbent in presidential race
- First round of Czech presidential elections saw low turnout in socially excluded localities
- Czech President attempts to smear opponent as "pro-immigration" - but their views are the same on that issue
- Which Czech presidential candidate will Romani voters choose? Apparently not Zeman
- Analysis of Czech presidential campaigns: Horáček is the most transparent, Zeman the least
- Czech presidential candidate sends convicted antisemite as his "spokesperson" to debate
- Czech presidential candidate says incumbent will be incapable of five more years in office
- Czech televised discussion features one presidential candidate, two presidential spokespeople - and a ficus
- Czech institute reminds President that welfare restrictions have applied for more than a decade now
- Czech futsal club "takes a knee" against the xenophobic remarks of the SPD chair and the President
- Czech man sentenced to three months in prison, suspended for one year, for assaulting Romani boy, but racial motivation is ignored
- Jaroslav Miko: Romani voters must cast their ballots for a democratic coalition, otherwise anti-Romani extremists may get into government
- Albanian comedy shows feature blackface, prejudice and stereotypes about Romani people
- Romani associations distance themselves from community member who apparently expressed desire to attack Czech politician
- Mayor and police in Czech town correct the record about assault incident to make clear Romani people were not involved as first alleged
- Czech moderator cuts short interview with party chair who refuses to distance herself from anti-Jewish texts
- Jaroslav Miko: Czech President shows his arrogance and lack of basic social empathy on the first day of school
- Czech President Zeman visits school with Romani pupils as 2021/2022 school year begins
- Czech court sentences social media user to two years in prison, suspended for two years, for promoting terrorism
- Germany's Supreme Court rejects appeal filed by racially-motivated murderer of 10 people
- Slovak President and Plenipotentiary for Roma object to wave of hate and racism following announcement of Pope's visit to Romani neighborhood
- Czech Pirates sharply criticize bill to toughen welfare eligibility, delaying a vote