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August 17, 2018
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Features and Commentary

Commentary: My father would not have tolerated what the Duchcov attacker did

Duchcov, 1.6.2013 19:47, (ROMEA) So many people, and not just recently, have been cursing us Roma (or Gypsies, whichever you prefer). I'm not going to write about the recent murder of a Romani man in Teplice, because the police are refusing to say anything about that case. What bothers me today is the brutal assault by a Romani boy on a married couple in Duchcov and the opinions expressed online about how that incident should be "addressed".  full story

Marcel Grünza: Gadje, what are you so proud of?

Liberec, 28.5.2013 22:37, (ROMEA) I have just read a blog posting here entitled "Have you ever seen a gypsy in a library?" I am disgusted by these outbursts by would-be Czechs about Romani people. Some of them consider us all lazy, uneducated parasites who don't work, who don't know how to read and write, and who scrounge off of society.  full story

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Patrik Banga: Judge, the arrow got him in the head by accident...

Prague, 24.5.2013 7:08, (ROMEA) So: Our Czech William Tell is on trial. He didn't hit the apple but the head, and surprise! The man he shot, died. A legend then sprang up about a hero protecting his property from a horde of gypsies who were robbing his house. The prosecutor, however, sees it differently, and her qualification of what happened approximates murder.  full story

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Commentary: Be proud you are Romani

Prague, 3.5.2013 20:13, (Romano vod'i) Some children were playing on the playground. They were probably being too loud because they were really into their game. Some might say they were whooping it up. A neighbor didn’t like it and started yelling at them out the window to be quiet. She threw in some remarks about “gypsies” because the children were Romani. One of the little girls looked up at the lady and said to her: “Lady, why are you shouting at us? When you were still swinging from the trees, we were building Mohenjo Daro!”  full story

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Emil Ščuka: We lack a unified concept

Prague, 3.5.2013 19:13, (Romano vod'i) Emil Ščuka is one of the most famous Romani politicians in the Czech Republic. He graduated in law and worked as a public prosecutor, but his original dream of a career was something completely different. In 2001 the magazine Reflex quoted him as saying the following.  full story

Valeriu Nicolae (PHOTO:

Valeriu Nicolae: Roma Social Inclusion Measures the European Commission Can and Should Take

Bucharest, 30.4.2013 10:15, (ROMEA) I have been accused in the past of always complaining about what the Commission does and never offering “constructive” solutions myself. Factually this is false.I am a strong pro-European. I also reject sugar-coating and I think critical thinking is what can get us out of the mess we are in at this moment.  full story

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Commentary: Should the state obstruct or support social residential hotels?

Prague, 23.4.2013 18:58, (ROMEA) At a debate in the Czech Republic last week attended by activists, experts, representatives of the public administration and nonprofit organizations, Deputy Regional Development Minister Miroslav Kalous (Civic Democrats - ODS) presented the ministry’s current plans in the area of social housing. Kalous said the ministry's aim is to meet the demand of people who need to live in residential hotels and “to help children and their mothers not end up on the street.”  full story

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Commentary: My attempted interview with Czech Senator Okamura

Prague, 21.4.2013 17:27, (ROMEA) Recently I read an article by Senator Okamura on his blog about social policy and welfare. While I did not like some of his opinions, I honor and respect freedom of speech.  full story

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Commentary: How to produce disinformation in the Czech media

Prague, 8.4.2013 20:48, (ROMEA) "‘When I grow up, I want to be on welfare,’ wish poor children from the Romani ghettos”. So reads the headline of a particular article published on news server here in the Czech Republic several days ago.  full story

Tamar Ezer: A Signature Is Not Enough

New York, 26.3.2013 10:57, (ROMEA) Violence happens in health care settings. It does not just take place during war or conflict, on the street, or even in our homes among partners. Health care facilities that are supposed to be places of treatment, care, and support are all too often sites for violence. This is particularly true for those who are marginalized in society. The Commission on the Status of Women, the UN’s global policy-making body on equality and advancement of women, significantly recognizes this in its just released “agreed conclusions,” providing guidance on the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls.  full story

Valeriu Nicolae (PHOTO:

Valeriu Nicolae: How I crashed into the glass-ceiling

Bucharest, 26.3.2013 9:59, (ROMEA) A few months ago I wrote about the problems with funding civil society, and Roma civil society in particular; how EU funds (in particular structural funds) but also project-focused funding stimulate false reporting, rationalizing failures, useless by expensive meetings and trainings, and corruption. Incentives for grassroots work, learning from failures, critical thinking, participation and sharing responsibilities of the vulnerable groups are missing.  full story

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Czech ultra-right holds yet another rally full of untruths

Nejdek, 25.3.2013 22:00, (ROMEA) Promoters of the right-wing extremist Workers' Social Justice Party (Dělnická strana sociální spravedlnosti - DSSS) continued their never-ending electoral campaign last Saturday in the Czech town of Nejdek. Police officers were posted to monitor all of the roads and the center of Nejdek was empty. The ultra-right extremists met at the train station, marched from there to the center of town, and held their rally.  full story

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Bernard Rorke: What Can the EU Do for Roma in the Face of Rising Populism and Prejudice?

Budapest, 20.3.2013 22:37, (ROMEA) It’s nearly two years since the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies (NRIS) was launched during the Hungarian EU Presidency. Back then, Commissioner Viviane Reding described it as a “huge step forward for millions of Roma around Europe.” When the Commission reviewed the strategies submitted by Member States in May 2012, the rhetoric was more muted. The best the Commission could say was that the strategies amounted to a “first step.” One year on, in a climate of deepening poverty and rising intolerance, there is a grave danger that the prospects of the Framework making a difference to Roma people’s lives will simply dissolve. The newly published policy brief Beyond First Steps provides a concise overview and analysis of developments to date, as well as a clear set of recommendations for the European Commission to keep the Framework on track.  full story

Valeriu Nicolae (PHOTO:

Valeriu Nicolae: The Almighty Church of Social Inclusion

Bucharest, 19.3.2013 11:02, (ROMEA) Over the last ten years I have taken part in about 50 major European Commission conferences on Roma issues. Many were in the early years. I thought initially that conferencing was a way to achieve change. Last year I went to just one EC conference. After the meeting I wrote a piece about structural racism that was published by the European Voice. The “Extraordinary Meeting on Roma” was extraordinary proof of structural problems and ingrained racism within the Commission. Only two speakers out of 29 were Roma.  full story

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"I don't want my children to feel like foreigners in their own country"

Czech Republic, 16.3.2013 0:07, (ROMEA) Not quite one year ago, the monthly Romano Voďi devoted an entire issue to the theme of identities in which ethnologist and social anthropologist Zdeněk Uherek reviewed the issue of the plurality of identities in his column "Beneath the Surface" ("Pod povrchem"). The first issue of Romano Voďi this year has returned to the topic of identity construction and the mechanisms through which identity is realized, this time through the lens of the recent Czech presidential election and its reception among members of the Romani minority.  full story

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Czech Green Party chair: How far are we from Orbán's Hungary?

Prague, 14.3.2013 16:18, (ROMEA) The Hungarian Parliament has approved a series of changes to the constitution there that threaten, among other things, the independence of the Constitutional Court and weaken minority protections. This is further proof that the European economic and political crisis is starting to contribute to the growth of an extremism and a nationalism that jeopardize democracy.  full story

Miroslav Kováč

Commentary: The Romani crisis? A lack of unity!

Postoloprty, Czech Republic, 13.3.2013 22:30, (ROMEA) The Romani people were once a traveling nation. As they passed through different landscapes they encountered the diverse cultures of various nations. In some places they were welcomed for their skills in acrobatics and other arts, their manual dexterity, their musical sensibility, their temperament, and last but not least for their ability to work magic or their knowledge of how to mix herbal concoctions.  full story

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Czech town reps attend ghetto meeting, bring few answers

Ústí nad Labem, Předlice, 13.3.2013 15:35, (ROMEA) Yesterday the Konexe association convened a meeting between local Romani residents of the Předlice quarter and representatives of the institutions responsible for ensuring order in the town. The meeting took place at the intersection of Prostřední and Řeháčkova streets.  full story

David Zahumenský

Commentary: Did Romani activist cause CZK 10 million damage?

Prague, 24.2.2013 20:46, (ROMEA) Ladislav Bílý, the chair of the Romani Civic Association (Romské občanské sdružení) was sentenced this week to six years in prison for subsidy fraud. According to information in the media, he committed the fraud between 2007 and 2010 when he requested subsidies in the name of the association from the municipality of Karlovy Vary, the Karlovy Vary Regional Authority, and the Czech Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and submitted a falsified confirmation of solvency with his application.  full story

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