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Influential Czech Social Democrat wants Human Rights Minister dismissed, exploits refugee crisis to attack Roma

23.9.2015 4:35
Martin Klika (PHOTO: Ústecký Regional Authority)
Martin Klika (PHOTO: Ústecký Regional Authority)

Martin Klika, a Social Democrat and Regional Councilor in Ústí nad Labem Region, has called on his website for Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka to dismiss Human Rights Minister Jiří Dienstbier. In an interview for the Českolipský deník daily on 19 September, Klika expressed understanding for Czech citizens' concerns about migrants by saying he believed people are concerned migrants will behave like Romani people.

Klika assessed Dienstbier's policies as follows:  "His injudicious effort, which has been completely divorced from reality, to privilege the interests of minorities over the interests of the society into which those minorities should integrate is significantly undermining the efforts of local and regional politicians. From Prague, without specific knowledge of the actual state of affairs, he invents completely unrealistic procedures for inclusion that are very often criticized by members of these minorities themselves. The positive discrimination of minorities is, for Jiří Dienstbier, the alpha and omega of all his efforts. The Human Rights Minister has absolutely forgotten that the purpose of his ministry is to integrate minorities into society, not to incite the rest of the majority population against minorities who, according to Jiří Dienstbier, are supposed to enjoy advantages and preferential treatment compared to the majority."        

In the interview for the Českolipský deník, which also features Czech Senator Jaroslav Doubrava, Klika speaks of the "failure of the EU" regarding the refugee crisis and of the need for the Czech Republic to prevent a "migrant invasion", saying he considers Hungary's approach to the crisis to be correct. On the topic of "migrants and Roma", he added:  "The citizens are intuitively afraid that the migrants might begin behaving like Roma. A big part of the Roma population represents a serious problem here that was never solved, not during the 20th century and not during the first 15 years of the 21st century. The Janov housing estate in Litvínov is a typical example of this - an example of devastation, just like Chanov [housing estate] used to be, etc."    

In the interview, Senátor Doubrava added:  "The problems with immigrants in Europe are real and documented. We just have the enormous luck of only having the Vietnamese community in the Czech Republic and problems with the inadaptable, strong part of the Roma community."

Klika is known for having been sympathetic to the now-banned Workers' Party and its successor, the Workers' Social Justice Party (DSSS) - during last year's local election campaign, for example, Klika told the chair of the DSSS cell in Duchcov, Jindřich Svoboda, that he hoped he would win. News server Romea.cz has asked Human Rights Minister Dienstbier for his response to Klika's criticism.

mik, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Jiří Dienstbier, Pozitivní diskriminace, refugee, Strategie romské integrace do roku 2020



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