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July 6, 2022



Slovak MEP of Romani origin Peter Pollák: It is incomprehensible that the Czech Republic is unable to help a few hundred Romani refugees from Ukraine at the Prague railway station

27.5.2022 10:59
Slovak MEP Peter Pollák being interviewed for ROMEA TV at the main railway station in Prague, 26 May 2022. (PHOTO: Zdeněk Ryšavý)
Slovak MEP Peter Pollák being interviewed for ROMEA TV at the main railway station in Prague, 26 May 2022. (PHOTO: Zdeněk Ryšavý)

MEP Peter Pollák of Slovakia is surprised that the Czech Republic cannot help the few hundred Romani refugees from Ukraine, including young children, who currently have to sleep on the floor at the main railway station in Prague. Pollák did express appreciation for the fact that the Czech Republic has otherwise managed the refugee crisis. 

He also expressed appreciation for the functioning of the "tent city" in Prague's Troja neighborhood, where aid to refugees is being provided by Romani nonprofits Romodrom and RomPraha. Pollák made the remarks in an interview for the ROMEA TV online broadcaster.

"On the one hand, the Czech Republic, which has probably been the country most attacked by the refugee crisis, has generally managed to help the refugees. On the other hand, we see several hundred people whom the state has failed to take care of and who are at the train station," the MEP said yesterday in an interview at Prague's main railway station.

"It is really worrying for me to see the huge number of children here," Pollák added. "I do not think that anything similar is happening in any another country to which refugees from Ukraine have fled."

The MEP met the director of Romodrom, Nikola Taragoš, at the "tent city" yesterday in Troja and also met at the main railway station with other Romani people who have mainly been providing aid to the Romani refugees from Ukraine there. "I came here to familiarize myself with the situation and of course we will try at European level to open up this subject  with my colleagues in some way," added Pollák.

He also commented on the problem of some refugees who allegedly have dual citizenship, Hungarian and Ukrainian. "Hungarian passports were given mostly to the non-Roma in Ukraine," Pollák told ROMEA TV.

"They were giving them to those considered more clever and skillful. Orbán wanted to take advantage of their right to vote [from abroad in elections in Hungary]," he said.

"Most Romani [refugee Ukrainians] do not have a Hungarian passport and are not Viktor Orbán's voters. It is not easy to buy a Hungarian passport," Pollák also explained.

František Bikár, Zdeněk Ryšavý, Richard Samko, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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