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Czech President says anti-Roma sentiment is troubling

Prague, 27.8.2011 16:33, (ROMEA)
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Czech President Václav Klaus says he is horrified by the current situation in North Bohemia. In an interview for the daily Právo, he emphasized that he is also bothered by the strong statements now being made against Romani citizens.

"I am horrified by this. Within the framework of Czech society, I am definitely one of those who stands up for the Romani people more than I criticize them. In the vast majority of conversations I have with my acquaintances and friends I am in the role of someone who is bothered by the strong statements being made by the majority of Czech society toward our fellow Romani citizens," Klaus said in the interview.

"It's terribly unpleasant that this is closing in on us. The separation of our society is underway. I am afraid that not everything we are learning about these few recent, horrible specific cases [of alleged Roma violence] is truly authentic. These could be taken from the examples of television news reports where horrifying events in this or that country are seen to be the work of a small, frightening group of people. This is artificial in our area of civilization, not authentic to our traditions or customs, to our way of thinking. I am less able to give a complex interpretation of these events because of that," Klaus said.

Gwendolyn Albert, Zdeněk Ryšavý, ryz, Právo, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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