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Anti-Romany slogans sprayed in Czech town ahead of elections

Litvínov, 12.10.2008 19:49, (ROMEA)

An unknown perpetrator sprayed signs threatening Romanies with murder on two houses in Litvinov ahead of the regional elections starting on Friday, local police spokeswoman Alena Bartosova told CTK today.

The inscriptions are allegedly signed by Martin Klika, the town's Social Democrat (CSSD) deputy mayor.

Klika told CTK that somebody probably misused his name and the situation that occurred in Litvinov ahead of the regional elections.

Jiri Sulc (Civic Democrats, ODS), the region's governor and ODS's election leader, used in his campaigns billboards that were considered racist.

The ODS billboards said "Work hard, gadji, so that we get better-off!"

"Gadji" is the Romany expression for people who are not of Romany origin.

Sulc has dismissed the billboards' racist or anti-Romany meaning. He said the billboards only reflected the nationwide problem of certain people abusing social allowances in an unusual way.

He said the slogan was not his own idea but he "borrowed" it from the wall of a house in Litvinov's Janov housing estate, where it was written by an unknown author.

Janov is an infamous Romany ghetto. The Usti region has a strong Romany community.

A 12-member "monitoring guard" of the Czech extra-parliamentary ultra-right Workers' Party (DS) arrived in Janov last weekend, but a big group of local Romanies armed with sticks, golf clubs and other tools resisted the guard and verbally attacked it.

The police prevented a clash between the two groups and send the DS guard away from the Romany estate.

CTK
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