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May 29, 2017
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Czech MEP responds to antigypsyism at the European Parliament: Roma are underrepresented and positive examples should be highlighted

18.4.2017 8:28
Tomáš Zdechovský (PHOTO: http://www.zdechovsky.eu)
Tomáš Zdechovský (PHOTO: http://www.zdechovsky.eu)

According to a Member of the European Parliament (EP) from the Czech Republic, Tomáš Zdechovský, the commemoration of International Romani Day is very necessary. The MEP made his remarks during a debate about International Romani Day that took place at the EP on Thursday, 6 April 2017.

Zdechovský made his remarks in response to several racist MEPs who attacked Romani people across the board in their remarks. "This debate demonstrates how necessary it is to commemorate this Romani Day," said the MEP for the Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL).

He described the four years that he spent as a street worker in a Romani community. "It is interesting to see how their coexistence with the majority group in Czech society has changed their culture in a significant way. Romani people are different, and that's what this debate is about. We must acknowledge this difference," he said, adding that Romani people do have problems such as criminal involvement and drug abuse.

The MEP said he believes it is necessary to ask why that is and how we can change it. "In the European Union there are several million Romani people - maybe more than some of the other nationalities who are represented in the European Parliament - but the Roma do not have a voice here. How many MEPs are of Romani nationality? How many people from the Romani community have made it here? How many people from the Romani people have the ability to study?" he asked.

"We can abuse these people and give examples of how they drive around in Mercedes while letting their children run wild in the street - but why not show the examples of Romani people who work as doctors, lawyers, police officers, who go to Italy to wipe the asses of Italian pensioners?" he responded to the anti-Romani attacks made by other MEPs. "Why don't you talk about the Romani people who create society together with us and are involved in the normal labor process?"

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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European Parliament, International Roma Day, intolerance, Italy



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videoSlovakia: Romani politician says if video of police brutality did not exist, authorities would probably have never investigated

28.5.2017 13:19
Peter Pollák, the former Rapporteur to the Government of the Slovak Republic on the Romani Community, said at a press conference on 25 May broadcast through his Facebook page that it is essential that video cameras be made part of police officers' uniforms in order to assess whether officers have used force without grounds. The Romani politician said that four years after promises by Slovak Police Director Tibor Gašpar and Slovak Interior Minister Robert Kaliňák to introduce such video cameras, it has still not happened.
 full story

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Slovak President Kiska visits anti-extremist event and Romani settlement on the same day

28.5.2017 12:12
"The failure to resolve Romani issues means it's smooth sailing for extremism, and that is the worst thing that can happen," Slovak President Andrej Kiska said according to news server aktuálně.atlas.sk during a visit to Spišské Podhradí on 22 May where, besides meeting with the town leadership, he also met with staffers of the education center Nano Nagle, which aids Romani children, and visited a Romani settlement in Roškovce. "Modern Slovakia is almost 25 years old and during that time we have not done enough about Romani issues."
 full story

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videoCzech Republic: Vigil held for Romani man shot dead yesterday

28.5.2017 11:54
Yesterday in Chomutov a vigil was held to honor the memory of a 34-year-old Romani man who was shot dead at about 3 AM. The suspected shooter was arrested by police at
the scene and today it is anticipated that his criminal prosecution will begin and that a motion will be filed to remand him into custody on suspicion of murder.
 full story

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