Czech government to unveil measures against extremism

21st April 2009, Comments 0 comments

Topolanek's announcement came after assailants hurled Molotov cocktails at the house of a Roma family in northeast Czech Republic over the weekend.

Prague -- The outgoing Czech government addressed the question of racism against Roma for the first time Monday, saying it would soon announce new measures to fight extremism after a Roma family was attacked.

"There is a relatively large amount of latent racism we don't talk about at all," said Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek.

His centre-right government is expected to announce the measures just before it hands power over to an interim administration in May.

Topolanek's announcement came after assailants hurled Molotov cocktails at the house of a Roma family in northeast Czech Republic over the weekend.

The resulting fire left a two-year-old girl suffering burns over 80 percent of her body.

Doctors are reserving judgement on her prognosis and the police have opened an investigation into the incident. Her parents suffered less extensive burns.

The attack has triggered outrage on the part of the Roma community and concern in Brussels about growing aggression against Roma in Europe as a whole.

"I trust the Czech authorities will investigate the crime properly and bring the perpetrators to justice," said European Social Affairs Commissioner Vladimir Spidla in a statement.

Addressing the situation of other European Union member states, Spidla also warned that "populist anti-Roma rhetoric" was influencing public debate and in some cases instigating hate crimes.

In the Czech Republic, neo-Nazi demonstrations are also regularly organised with the endorsement of the local authorities. The latest, on Saturday, attracted several hundred young Germans and Czechs.

AFP/Expatica

0 Comments To This Article