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Patrik Banga: Attacks by deranged people not a Roma problem

Prague, 24.8.2011 2:38, (ROMEA)
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According to Patrik Banga, a journalist who works with news servers iDNES.cz and Romea.cz, two most recent incidents of violence in North Bohemia should not be considered a Romani problem, but the problem of the deranged individuals who perpetrated them. Banga made his remarks on the Czech Television news program "Události, komentáře".

"I believe many factors caused the conflict in Nový Bor. From the media I get the impression, for example in Rumburk, that there is a street war going on and riot police have to intervene. My impression is that this is not a Romani problem. I really believe this is the problem of some deranged people," Banga said. Another guest on the program, Martin Šimáček, the director of the Czech Government Agency for Social Inclusion in Roma Localities, said it is very simplistic to perceive the situation in North Bohemia as a problem between the majority society and Romani people.

Czech Senator Jaroslav Sykáček, who is also the Mayor of Rumburk, welcomed the measures initiated by the National Security Council, which has sent 60 riot police units to the region. "I am really very satisfied that we were heard," he said. "Of course we shouldn't draw enormous conclusions from this, that would be premature. Nonetheless, I can tell you that even though the measures haven't been in place long, I have already heard positive responses to them from our residents."

"Police can greatly contribute to calming the situation, mainly in the short term. However, it is necessary to start including these people into society," Šimáček said. Banga said riot police are a short-term solution. Šimáček went on to say the Agency has offered Rumburk a helping hand, which the town has rejected.

Gwendolyn Albert, Zdeněk Ryšavý, ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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