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August 16, 2022



Czech mayor makes openly racist statement that her town just wants "white" refugees from Ukraine, not children and women of Romani origin

16.6.2022 18:07
The Mayor of Bílina, Czech Republic, Zuzana Schwarz Bařtipánová (Association of Dissatisfied Citizens - ANO movement). (Collage:
The Mayor of Bílina, Czech Republic, Zuzana Schwarz Bařtipánová (Association of Dissatisfied Citizens - ANO movement). (Collage:

Bílina, Czech Republic disagrees with housing children and women of Romani origin who are fleeing the war from Ukraine on its territory. That openly racist standpoint has been written by Mayor Zuzana Schwarz Bařtipánová (ANO) in her response to the director of the Refugee Facilities Administration, Pavel Bacík.

The mayor also referenced a statement made by the Governor of the Ústecký Region, Jan Schiller (ANO) who also disagrees with aiding refugees of Romani origin from Ukraine. The mayor called the children and women of Romani origin "inadaptables", a term that was used by the Nazis in the runup to the Second World War.  

Bařtipánová said she fundamentally disagrees with providing housing to children under the age of 14 and their female relatives of Romani origin in a privately-owned apartment building on Max Švabinský Street in Bílina - or anywhere else on the territory of the town - because of the situation at the Za Chlumem Primary School and because of what she described as the expansion of socially excluded localities not just in Bílina, but overall in the Karlovy Vary, Moravian-Silesian and Ústecký Regions.

"I am unable to understand that anybody from an organization run by the state could come up with the idea of moving these inadaptable Romani refugees from Ukraine into any of those three regions, even for a fraction of a second, or God forbid that the state could even implement such a move, and especially not into Bílina!" the mayor wrote. She then went on to attack the nonprofit organizations run by Romani people that have, without receiving any financial resources for this work from the state, significantly aided the state from the beginning of the crisis in dealing with the repercussions of the refugee crisis here.

It is exactly nonprofit organizations run by Romani people that were proposed by Bacík in a letter to the mayor as being available to take care of the children and women of Romani origin from Ukraine in Bílina. "Their practices have been proven and aim to prevent social and other tensions in specific localities, and are essential to preventing negative phenomena or negative perceptions among the public," his request to the mayor said.  

"The nonprofit organizations run by Romani people that you mention which, according to your letter, would arrange for intensive social work on their adaptation, are not effectively working to this day with the existing Romani inadaptable citizens here, and given that they are unable to arrange for the adaptation even of these Czech-speaking Romani fellow citizens, it is impossible to believe that they could manage the Ukrainian ones you mention," the mayor literally wrote in her response before expressing her support for the Ústecký Regional Authority's standpoint that it would be absolutely inappropriate to house any refugees of Romani origin in "their" region.

"The Ústecký Region is one big excluded locality, and that's not based on any whim of mine, but is absolutely provable with data. Moreover, this specific building is situated in a locality that is already currently problematic in terms of the coexistence of different social groups of residents. We decidedly do not, therefore, recommend housing any particularly vulnerable persons and groups in that locality," Regional Governor Schiller wrote in his own letter on this issue. 

Mayor Bařtipánová (ANO) then threatens the Interior Ministry with civil unrest at the close of her letter. "If the state does this without the agreement of the town, it is absolutely certain that further escalation of social problems will happen including imminent civil unrest, and not just in the location where these refugees are housed, but throughout the entire town and surrounding area," she concludes.  

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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