Šluknov region mayors slam government agency for social inclusion

26-01-2012

Officials from the Šluknov region in northern Bohemia, where racial tensions have been building for years, have slammed the government’s agency for social inclusion. The mayors of the region’s biggest towns met with MPs on Thursday to discuss the escalating situation, stating the agency had done little to improve social problems in Varnsdorf, Rumburk and other muncipalities across the region. Public Affairs’ leader Radek John told the press that at the very least, the way the agency is organized will have to be reconsidered. Currently, it has an annual budget of 25 million Czech crowns. Šluknov’s mayor Eva Džumannová also criticized the agency’s 100-point strategy aimed at fighting social discrimination, which was approved by the government in September. The document, drafted in a reaction to the demonstrations and violent incidents in the region, proposed measures that were downright absurd, she said.

Demonstrations, escalating violence and high unemployment in the Šluknov region made headlines last summer. Due to a series of demonstrations and growing tensions between Romanies and locals, police maintained a heightened presence in the region for weeks.