The Czech Republic Regional Development Minmister, Jifi Cunek, has proposed an unheard of plan which would classify each and every Roma family in the nation into one of three categories. Under this idea, a government would decide who does or does not fit into a slot and proceed to decide how best that family can live in the Czech Republic. One group of Romas would be allowed to live as they presently do on ground they have displayed an ability to function without government assistance. A second group would be Roma citizens who require some form of financial and social assistance and the third group would be subject to regular supervision by social workers and moved into government owned hostels. Cunek’s adviser, Josef Balaz, said, social workers who engage with Romas “realize these people are on different levels and therefore have very different needs.”
Ivan Vesely, deputy head of the government council of the Roma community, responded by noting “to categorize Roma citizens into groups is against the Czech constitution and social laws, and it violates the ideas and message of the Velvet Revolution.” Of course, at no place in this proposal is there any reference for dividing up other people in the Czech Republic into categories. Or, is the assumption, only Romas need government supervision and planning? Are there any non-Romas who live in poverty?