Czech Republic: Romani local candidate looks to EU funds for social exclusion
News server Romea.cz has prepared a series of brief interviews with Romani candidates in the upcoming local elections. This interview is with Rastislav Lučanský, who ran for the European Parliament as a Romani Democratic Party candidate and who is now running as an independent in the city of Brno, on the Moravian Party ticket.
Q: If elected, what is the most important intention or issue you plan to enforce?
A: We support the development of business and social life in the center of Brno, which is suffering from the constant expansion of large shopping centers on the outskirts of the city. We stand for a balanced budget and investing into rehabilitation of the heating network - we can use savings to make sure the cost of heating does not rise. We stand for the construction of more apartment buildings that offer comprehensive care for senior citizens. We stand for improving the situation in the socially excluded localities through the aid of concrete projects supported with EU money. We are for a city without gaming machines and gaming rooms. We stand for dignified housing for the citizens of the city of Brno and its environs.
Q: How specifically do you want to help improve coexistence between the gadje and Roma in Brno and in the country in general?
A: I personally would call for dignified housing for the citizens of the Czech Republic irrespective of nationality. There is also a need to create jobs. There should be education courses and qualification courses for socially vulnerable citizens irrespective of nationality. I would ensure that people from the majority and minority appreciate and respect one another irrespective of skin color.
Q: Why aren't you running for the Romani Democratic Party (RDS), which you are a member of? Why are you running on the Moravian Party ticket? Doesn't it bother you that members of that party ran during the parliamentary elections on the candidate lists of Tomio Okamura's Úsvit party? (Okamura was already infamous for his anti-Romani invective at that time).
A: I was a candidate for the RDS and I ran for that party during the European Parliamentary elections. I have since resigned from that party after its electoral failure and because of its incorrect behavior. I am running for the Moravian Party because I reached an agreement with its vice-chair, Ondřej Hýsek, that I could run as an independent. I agreed because I like their electoral program and because they help all socially vulnerable citizens in the city of Brno. As for Okamura's movement, some Moravian Party members ran for Parliament on his ticket as independents. However, they disagree with the anti-Romani position of that movement. The Moravian Party is a a party that makes no distinctions between citizens of the Czech Republic.
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