Czech racists spread their annual summertime lies about free entry to swimming pools for Romani people
News server Deník.cz has reported on a regular summertime phenomenon in the Czech Republic, when the sun begins to bake and people head for the swimming pools - rumors are being spread by e-mail and social media that Romani people get free access to those facilities. The report gives an example of one post: "The Labor Offices reimburse their clients receiving aid to those in material distress to take taxis to go shopping in the supermarkets, and they reimburse their entry to the swimming pools. That's right, the Roma are enjoying summer again."
Similar hoaxes have been disseminated for many years - as far back as 2010, residents of Havířov were spreading the absurdly false rumor that Romani people were getting free entry to the pool there. In 2014, the town of Most's Technical Services also had to refute similar rumors.
This year such disinformation is again being disseminated in northern Bohemia. Martin Mata, director of the Municipal Services department of Ústí nad Labem, told the news server that: "Free entry for Romani people to our swimming pool is naturally nonsense, there is nothing of the kind in place."
"People spread these falsehoods in order to stir up negative emotions," Mata said. "Meanwhile, at the Brná swimming pool in Ústí nad Labem there are two Romani lifeguards and we hear nothing but good feedback about them."
His words were confirmed by the spokesperson for the Most town hall, Alena Sedláčková. "Only employees of Technical Services have free entry to the swimming pool," she told the news server.
"This entire story is a fabrication and serves no other purpose than to escalate social tensions," she said. Stories of Romani people being reimbursed for their taxi rides are also spreading in Most, according to her.
Adriana Kotlárová, a teacher at the primary school located at the Chanov housing estate in Most, explained to the news server that when many people share taxis to travel from the housing estate into town, it is economically more advantageous for them than any other option. "Sharing a seven-seat taxi is financially more advantageous for Chanov residents than the public bus," Kotlárová said.
"If five people agree to take the taxi together, they save money," she explained. "A bus ticket costs 17 crowns [EUR 0.67] and runs just twice an hour."
"They can order a private taxi any time they need and split a fare of 40 to 50 crowns [EUR 1.57 - 1.96] to travel to Tesco," the teacher pointed out. That same trip - with far less flexibility - would cost those same five people a total of CZK 85 [EUR 3.33] by public bus.
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