Havířov: Rumor spreads that town is paying for swimming pool access for Roma
A ridiculously false rumor has been spreading in the Czech town of Havířov that Roma are being allowed to access the outdoor swimming pool free of charge and their entrance fees are being covered by the town hall. “That is sheer nonsense. The town hall is not paying entrance fees for anyone, Roma or otherwise. No groups are getting any such advantages,” Jiří Bednář, director of the Sports and Recreation Facilities Administration (SSRZ) in Havířov told the Havířov daily newspaper.
Bednář witnessed the spreading of this rumor in the line at the swimming pool cash desk. A man claimed the town hall was paying the entrance fees for Roma while everyone else had to pay in full. "About 40 people listened to him, took the rumor as reliable information, and were outraged. I asked the rumor-monger to come to the cash desk and take a look so he could see with his own eyes that a local Roma man was paying full price for himself and his son. After we explained this to him, he told the people that what he had said wasn’t true,” Bednář describes the Sunday incident. By then, however, the untrue rumor had already spread like lightning through the town and angry people were discussing it on every street corner and in shops.
The newspaper reports that such situations have occurred repeatedly; last year the SSRZ and the town hall were unfairly accused of the same thing. “I even received several official complaints by e-mail from people who didn’t like the fact that those who supposedly make the biggest messes at the swimming pool were supposedly the ones being privileged. I had to assure them that no such thing was happening and that no one has ever requested such an advantage,” the director told the paper.
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