Critics say government does not protect Romany interests

(PDM staff with CTK) 25 July - After joining the European Union last May, the Czech Republic did not take steps to protect Romanies, chairman of the Dzeno Romany association Ivan Vesely said Friday.

The government failed to sufficiently protect the nation's labour market and did not seek to preserve jobs in construction, for instance, for Romanies, Vesely said. Foreigners have thus been able to replace Romany employees who did less-skilled work, Vesely said in a statement published on the Dzeno website

According to estimates by Romany organisations, in some regions up to 90 percent of Romanies suffer long-term unemployment. Most of them have low education and it is difficult for them to find jobs. They often do unskilled work.

"The Czech Republic has failed to adopt measures that would protect these jobs for Romanies and socially weak groups of the population in the way the old EU countries did," Vesely said.

Most old EU member countries banned workers from the new members from working at their territory after EU enlargement in 2004. Only Ireland and Britain have opened their markets. Sweden has not put up big obstacles either. Some countries offer jobs in certain professions for which they lack a sufficient number of their own employees. The restrictions could be in force up to 2011.

Vesely said that Romanies in the Czech Republic were worse off after 15 years of democracy than in the past. The Czech Republic's EU membership did not fulfil their hopes. Some of them hoped that they would be able to travel to the West and find jobs there.

Romany leaders believed that thanks to the EU it would be easier for them to enter politics, Vesely said. Romany non-profit organisations expected the EU to help them and to ensure "really effective work for them and future integration of Romanies," he added.

There should be more Romany members of the European Parliament so that the interests of Romanies as the largest minority in Europe be "represented correspondingly," he said.

The Czech state leaves the solution to Romany problems to non-profit organisations. It does not even control whether national subsidies or European money really end up with the needy, Vesely said.

The state is not seeking to help Romanies actively participate in their integration with society, he added.

CTK news edited by the staff of the Prague Daily Monitor, a Monitor CE service.

Original Internet Source

Why am I surprised - NOT. The reason the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic are doing kek to improve the situation of the Romani People in their lands, despite the fact that they are now in the E.U., if the fact that the E.U. does not care one iota about our People. Greece, I believe, has been an E.U. member for quite some time now, as is Spain, and still in both countries, not even counting the U.K. forced evictions of Romani People from their homes is a matter of routine so that developments can be put in that bring mucho dinero to developers and politicians in cahoots with the former. I am talking here about Spain and Greece though corruption such as that would not surprise me in the UK either. What I cannot understand is that Ivan Vesely is so surprised about this all. Maybe he needs to learn reality of Romani life and the fact that Gohja do not care about our People, despite what they may profess publicly.