The city of Brno, in the south-east of the country, is bracing itself for Sunday’s extremist march through one of the city’s Romany neighbourhoods. A local court had overturned a ban on the march issued by Brno City Hall. Now, police are getting ready to deploy hundreds of officers to oversee the march, while several local groups are planning to try and block part of its route.
Brno City Hall officials would like to negotiate with far-right extremists
changes to their march through the city centre on May 1, the news agency
ČTK reported on Sunday. A City Hall official said they would like the
march to start at a different location rather than the originally planned
Koliště park which is not suitable for security reasons. However, Brno
City Hall does not want to push for the change of the route of the march
that will lead through Romany-populated areas in the city centre.
Several hundred far-right extremists are expected to take part in the march officially held in protest against immigrant workers. Brno authorities tried to ban the march but a court overturned the ban. Several NGOs are planning to stage their own counter-rallies in Brno on May 1 to prevent the extremists to march through Romany neighbourhoods.
In today's Czech Books we meet a writer who is a master of the short story. Andrej Gina, who won the Open Society Institute's Roma Literary Award in 2003, lives in the western Czech town of Rokycany. He writes in the Romany language spoken by generations of his ancestors from the rural Romany settlements of Eastern Slovakia. Andrej was still a small child when the family came to the Prague after the Second World War, leaving behind an ancient and rural world, where Roma life had changed little for centuries.
A new survey conducted by the CVVM agency suggests that three quarters of Czechs consider Roma unpleasant. The poll shows hardly any change in Czech-Roma relations compared with recent years. According to CVVM, 74% of respondents said that Roma not likeable, while only 12% said the opposite. 51% then said that they found Ukrainians to be unpleasant. Conversely, Czechs showed a warms feelings for Slovaks, with more than 9 in 10 saying they find them likeable. Compared with previous years of the poll, perceptions of Germans, Russians, Vietnamese and people from Balkan countries have improved slightly.
Minority and human rights groups in the Czech Republic have sent an open letter to Education Minister Josef Dobeš over his decision to appoint a controversial ultra-conservative politician as an advisor. Ladislav Bátora once stood as an independent candidate for the now-defunct far-right National Party, and is now head of the Eurosceptic movement DOST.
Representatives of 56 member countries of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe met in Prague this week for a conference on anti-Semitism in public discourse, hosted by the Czech Foreign Ministry. The participants called for more decisive steps to combat expressions of hatred and intolerance, and stressed the need for better data on anti-Semitic incidents. RP talked to Rabbi Andrew Baker, the Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office on Combating Anti-Semitism, about the Prague meeting.
Over three thousand senior citizens and people with disabilities gathered in Prague and Brno on Tuesday to protest against the government’s social welfare reform plans. The demonstration was called by the National Council for People with Disabilities which claims that the proposed measures will lower the living standard of those who most need support and will reverse much of what has been done to help disabled citizens lead an active and fulfilling life. One of the most controversial measures is a new set of criteria according to which benefits would be allotted. The government says it will make the system simpler and more effective, those concerned say it will rob them of the benefits they have, leaving them isolated and home-bound.
Police intend to prepare massive security precautions ahead of a May Day gathering of rightwing youths in the centre of Brno, Chief of Police Petr Lessy announced Friday. Mr Lessy told the Czech Press Agency that officers from other regions would be on site to monitor the event and that he wants to send the message that such groups are unwelcome in Brno, where they have attempted to hold rallies before. The youth association in question is associated with the former Workers’ Party, an extremist organisation that was banned last year.
Czech men earn on average 13 percent higher salaries than women in the same positions, according to a poll by the website platy.cz released on Wednesday. The poll also found that differences between men’s and women’s salaries increase with age; in the age group of 17 to 24 year olds, men make 11 percent more than women while the difference is nearly 20 percent in the age group between 35 and 44-year-olds. The gap between men’s and women’s salaries in the Czech Republic has been criticized by a number of NGOs; last year a report by the OECD said the gap was wider than in most developed countries.
Over 500 demonstrators gathered in the town of Nový Bydžov, north-east of Prague, on Saturday to express their views on the town’s policy in dealing with problem inhabitants, mainly Romanies. A gathering of 300 ultra right supporters backed the mayor’s demand for greater powers, including the right to cancel welfare benefits, expel problem inhabitants who do not have permanent residence in the town and take a tougher line in collecting debts. Another 200 protesters, mainly Romanies demonstrated near-by. Police were out in force to keep the two groups apart. Minor skirmishes are reported, and one demonstrator is reported to have suffered light injuries when he clashed with mounted police. Some Romanies had left the town fearing for their safety and many shops were closed for the day.
Olga Lomová: Western misconceptions could let China export much of its system and ultimately contribute to our enslavement
Hitler no ‘gentleman’, but court rules Czech state need not apologize for president’s claim Ferdinand Peroutka said so
Bertha von Suttner – Prague-born peace campaigner whose ideas on cooperation and disarmament continue to have lasting effect
Beijing ends agreement with Prague – but can spat harm Czech capital?
Czechia now ahead of Spain in GDP per capita, but still below EU average
Rare Terezín concentration camp artefacts found in attic of private home
Czechs observe day of mourning for pop idol Karel Gott
Thousands pay tribute to deceased national pop icon Karel Gott