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June 26, 2022



New head of Czech Romany agency sought

Prague, 29.1.2009 15:27, (ROMEA)

Newly appointed Human Rights and Minorities Minister Michael Kocab (Greens) is looking for a new director of the government agency for social integration in Romany localities, Kocab told journalists today.

Its previous director Marek Podlaha was dismissed last week by Kocab's predecessor Dzamila Stehlikova (Greens) shortly before she left the post.

"We'd like to resolve the situation in the office very fast," said Kocab who declined to give any reasons for Podlaha's dismissal.

The government agency for social integration in Romany localities started to work in 12 towns and villages last spring.

This year, it widened the project to include Janov, a neighbourhood in the North Bohemian town of Litvinov in which extremists clashed with local Romanies whose behaviour is resented by some majority residents.

Some Romany activists are of the view that the agency has absolutely failed in its objectives.

Stehlikova said the results of its work would be seen only after two years.

By that time, the towns and villages involved will have received hundreds of million crowns from the EU, Stehlikova said.

This year, the agency wants to finance "soft social techniques" in order to motivate Romanies to increase their skills and to search for work as well as to support the education of their children.

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