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Czech NGO: Dense network of gaming rooms is drowning the poor

Ústí nad Labem, 28.3.2013 0:44, (ROMEA) Staff of the People in Need (Člověk v tísni) organization have mapped the situation concerning the operation of gaming rooms in the Czech town of Ústí nad Labem. More than 100 places there feature video poker machines through which roughly half a billion crowns flow annually.  full story

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France: Roma may file charges against Interior Minister for inciting hatred

Paris, 22.3.2013 15:52, (ROMEA) The Romani community of France is considering filing charges against Interior Minister Manuel Valls for incitement of racial hatred after he was quoted in the right-wing paper Le Figaro as saying that Romani people who come to live in France "obviously do not want to integrate into society". The community accuses the minister of targeting Romani people on the basis of their ethnicity and race.  full story

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Czech Republic: Romani residents won't budge without a fight

Prague, 21.3.2013 23:37, (ROMEA) On Sunday, 18 March at the Café v lese in Prague, a public discussion took place about recent events concernign the housing situation on Přednádraží street in Ostrava and in the Předlice quarter of Ústí nad Labem. The discussion was followed by a benefit concert by the bands Fakné, Potmě, Čokovoko and Vobezdud, called "Number 8 Lives" (Osmička žije!) Building number 8 is the last residential building on Přednádraží street that is still occupied, and its occupants need financial and other support. The benefit was organized by the SOS Přednádraží initiative and the discussion was co-organized by the Housing for All (Bydlení pro všechny) initiative.  full story

One of the residential hotels in Ostrava on Cihelná street (2013). (Photo:  František Kostlán)

Czech Republic: Trafficking in poverty on the rise, landlords cashing in

Most, Ostrava, 8.3.2013 0:24, (ROMEA) The number of people living in residential hotels in the Czech town of Ostrava is rising sharply. News server iDNES.cz reports that the owners of these facilities are making such good money that CZK 172 million in housing supplements flowed to Ostrava last year alone, double the amount previously allocated  full story

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Czech town files suit against activist for allegedly spreading false information

Ústí nad Labem, 6.3.2013 22:02, (ROMEA) The town of Ústí nad Labem has published a list of the most seriously damaged buildings in the municipal departments of Krásné Březno and Předlice. According to the findings of the town hall's experts, no people are physically living in any of them.  full story

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Der Spiegel: Germany doesn't want Romani people in Schengen

Berlin, 5.3.2013 16:21, (ROMEA) The latest issue of Der Spiegel magazine reports that while no one in the German government has ever officially stated the policy (and probably never will), it is completely evident whom it targets: Germany has been rattled by the immigration of Romani people from Bulgaria and Romania, which is why it doesn't want to open its doors to citizens from the two poorest states on Europe's border.  full story

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Czech Republic: A day in the Předlice ghetto

Ústí nad Labem, 5.3.2013 15:19, (ROMEA) The following article, presented here by Romea.cz in full translation, was first published by Penize.cz with photographs at http://www.penize.cz/socialni-davky/250849-reportaz-z-okraje-predlice-bida-zita-az-na-dren  full story

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Czech NGO: Information on next wave of evictions in Ústí being suppressed

Ústí nad Labem, 2.3.2013 0:45, (ROMEA) The Konexe civic association has issued a press release warning of the alleged existence of a list of five buildings in the Předlice quarter of Ústí nad Labem whose occupants are to be evacuated just as others recently were from a building on Beneše Lounského street there. "The working group that managed the eviction of building no. 106 continues to meet on this problem and is discussing further evictions at its sessions as well as the fate of the Předlice ghetto in general. Neither the Romani people being discussed nor the public as a whole are being informed as to the content of these discussions or that they are even taking place," reads the press release, which is below in full translation.  full story

One of the residential hotels in Ostrava on Cihelná street (2013). (Photo:  František Kostlán)

Nine families still at risk of eviction and homelessness in Ostrava

Ostrava, 1.3.2013 17:21, (ROMEA) News server iDNES.cz reports that people living in the residential hotel on Božkova street in Ostrava now have only three months in which to find new homes. The municipal department of Moravská Ostrava a Přívoz will be closing it at the end of May and will not be offering the tenants substitute accommodation, but the nine families have nowhere to go. As news server Romea.cz reported 14 days ago, they have no money and are at risk of ending up on the street.  full story

The Předlice neighborhood in Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic (illustrative photo provided by Konexe, o. s.)

Czech NGO: Předlice quarter is hostage to illegal drugs

Ústí nad Labem-Předlice, 21.2.2013 21:47, (ROMEA) The People in Need (Člověk v tísni) organization has published an interview on its website with Radka Kobližková, the director of the Contact Center of the DRUG-OUT Klub civic association about the Předlice quarter in Ústí nad Labem and its residents' problem with drugs. News server Romea.cz is publishing the article in full translation below with the kind permission of People in Need.  full story

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Czech Republic: Good and bad examples of helping the poor

Prague, 21.2.2013 18:47, (ROMEA) News server Novinky.cz reports that yesterday, 20 February, was the World Day of Social Justice, an effort to draw attention to the topic of poverty and social problems. According to the EU Statistical Office, 15 % of the population of the Czech Republic is jeopardized by poverty and social exclusion, defined as suffering from material deprivation or working less than 20 % of what ordinarily constitutes a full-time work year.  full story

Czech Republic: New advice bureau to replace defunct Romani NGO

Karlovy Vary, 20.2.2013 20:57, (ROMEA) News server iDNES.cz reports that the recently appealed conviction of Ladislav Bílý, the leader of the Romani Civic Association (Romské občanské sdružení) in Karlovy Vary, has now left a gap in the services available free of charge there, but the counseling center that operated for years in the association's offices should be replaced by a similar facility within half a year. The Prague-based leadership of the Association of Citizens' Advice Bureaus (Asociace občanských poraden - AOP) is already taking action to provide substitute services.  full story

Czech subsidies fall for nonprofit social work, rise for sports

Prague, 20.2.2013 19:43, (ROMEA) A recent analysis of the financing of nonprofit organizations in the Czech Republic shows that subsidies for nonprofit organizations focused on employment and social affairs have fallen in recent years, while those available for groups involved in physical education have risen. In 2009, CZK 3.55 billion made its way to nonprofits involved in social issues and increasing employment, but in 2011 just CZK 3.09 billion did, even as the total amount of subsidies to nonprofits overall rose during that period from CZK 10.18 to CZK 10.86 billion. During that period a higher share of those subsidies each year has been dedicated to groups involved in physical education.  full story

One of the residential hotels in Ostrava on Cihelná street (2013). (Photo:  František Kostlán)

Czech Republic: Gentrification evicts more poor in Ostrava

Ostrava, 15.2.2013 21:29, (ROMEA) While the main town hall for Ostrava offered a total of four social apartments to needy people earlier this week as part of its newly-launched inclusion program, the Municipal Department of Moravská Ostrava a Přívoz is doing its best to push impoverished residents out of its center. At the start of January the municipality posted a warning at a residential hotel it runs on Božkova information those living there that they must move out by the end of May.  full story

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Commentary: NGO war breaks out in Czech Republic

Prague, 15.2.2013 1:25, (ROMEA) "When People in Need, during the worst moment of this crisis at the residential hotel, when there was a risk that people's children would be taken into state care, released a lie to the media claiming that the residential hotel occupants had rejected 20 apartments, they crushed the faith of the people they were collaborating with, as well as the overall faith of the public in NGOs. At the same time, this organization showed that its media image and the provision of an alibi to its allies at the town hall, from which its grant money flows, is more important to it than are human lives and a good resolution to a crisis situation," reads a recent declaration issued by the Housing for All (Bydlení pro všechny) initiative. The abysmal situation of the Romani people in Ústí nad Labem has drawn attention to the deep antagonisms between those whom we have become used to assigning, in a too-simplified way, into apparently clear categories such as "non-governmental organizations" or "activists".  full story

Czech activist: Nothing about Roma without them

Ústí nad Labem, 12.2.2013 17:38, (ROMEA) The Ústí edition of the deník.cz news server has published an interview with Miroslav Brož of the Konexe civic association in the Czech Republic in which he discusses residential hotels, Romani people, and the mistakes of the social welfare system (in Czech at http://ustecky.denik.cz/zpravy_region/broz-projekty-pro-romy-selhavaji-20130208.html). News server Romea.cz publishes the interview in full translation below.  full story

One of the residential hotels in Ostrava on Cihelná street (2013). (Photo:  František Kostlán)

Commentary: Czech residential hotels now worse than refugee camps used to be

Prague/Ostrava, 12.2.2013 16:16, (ROMEA) It's Wednesday, 6 February 2013 and we're in Prague at a large roundtable - police officers, psychotherapists, social workers, child welfare department staffers, employees of civic associations in the helping professions. All together we are doing our best to resolve the complex medical, relational and social problem of a single family that resulted in domestic violence recently.  full story

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Commentary: Slovakia's TV Markíza misinforms viewers about "activation jobs"

Detva, Slovensko, 9.2.2013 19:22, (ROMEA) In the Czech Republic they've elected a president. Lawsuits are being planned against the Slovak President. In Syria the murder continues. In Somalia 29 000 children have died of hunger, while another 300 000 are expected to die there soon. The world is spinning in a crazy dance and the economic crisis is conducting the music, but Slovakia lives for its own domestic problems. No one here is much interested in the war in Syria or famine somewhere in Africa.  full story

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Czech "housing shortage" could cause more unrest

Prague, 8.2.2013 2:06, (ROMEA) News server Peníze.cz ("Money.cz") has just published an article on the issue of Romani social exclusion. News server Romea.cz provides a partial translation into English below. The original article can be found at http://www.penize.cz/prispevek-na-bydleni/249442-na-hrane-bytove-nouze-kolik-sluknovu-se-vejde-do-jednoho-ceska  full story

Czech Television reports case of successful Romani integration in France

Aubervilliers, France, 8.2.2013 0:54, (ROMEA) Czech television reported last month that the municipality of Aubervilliers in France has "found the formula" for integrating Romani people there. For five years the administrative bodies of the Paris suburb have been trying to correct various problems linked to the municipality's rising population of Romani immigrants from Romania.  full story

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