Tag Archives: Czech Republic

Czech Republic Exports Romas To Canada!

There are many ways in which a society confronts issues of multiculturalism including creating programs that work to end conflict between groups within society. The Czech Republic has found a new way to deal with issues of prejudice and bigotry–export the problem to another country and let them handle it! Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney called on the Czech Republic government to crack down on the practice of sending dozens of Roma people to Canada on the pretext they are refugees fleeing from abuse. In 2007, Canada did not receive a single example of a Czech Republic person seeking refugee status but in 2008 there were 853 complaints from people claiming to be fleeing from alleged persecution in the Czech Republic democracy. These refugees now place seventh in the world of those seeking a refugee status in Canada.

Canada has agreed to maintain its visa exemption for people from the Czech Republic but they also want action taken on the flood of false claims for refugee status. Is there any possibility that Romas are being encouraged to flee the Czech Republic by those who want to get rid of them?

Romas Claim School Discrimination

A Prague Court rejected a claim by a Roma that he faced discrimination in school and was not provided an opportunity to succeed in a regular school program. The court argued he did not display sufficient academic achievement when placed in a school for slow learners which was evidence he lacked the ability to succeed in a regular academic program. Romany Suchy pointed out he was heavily sedated on grounds he was hyperactive and this impeded his ability to do well in school

An ongoing problem is to have schools for “slow learners.” This triggers what is termed the “pygmalion effect” under which students attain the levels the school believes they should attain. There is need to end such schools unless there is clear evidence of physical mental disability. A high percent of Roma children no doubt are classified as below average due to faulty diagnosis.

Mixed Reaction For Obama In Prague

President Barack Obama on his visit to the Czech Republic was greeted with cheers and jeers as he discussed his controversial ideas about the planned anti-missile system. He told many skeptical listeners, “As long as the threat from Iran persists, we intend to go forward with a missile defense system that is cost-effective and proven.” He admitted Iran has yet to build any nuclear weapon but persisted in claiming Europe and the Czech Republic were somehow under threat. Of course, why would Iran fire missiles at Europe was never explained by the president nor was there any explanation why the United States turned down an offer from Russia to station such an anti-missile system in their country.

The crowd came to see Obama not so much for what he said but just to say they had seen him. Of course, most applauded his statements concerning fighting global warming or his visit to Jewish sites in the city.

Roma Children Encounter Prejudice In Schools

During World War II, thousands of Roma people were murdered by German troops since the Nazis regarded them as an inferior sub-human people. These days Romas are not physically killed but their children are driven from schools due to prejudice and bigotry on the part of school officials. A recent survey by the Czech Republic organization People in Need reveals widespread indifference on the part of teachers to succeed with Roma children in their classes. The preferred solution is simply to transfer Roma children to a special school. According to Zdenek Svoboda, “schools and their teachers still do not approach children with certain disadvantage equally. We have recorded a tendency to eliminate children requiring special care of those who are difficult to manage.”

The survey revealed that two out of ten Roma female students are sent elsewhere and three out of ten boys are sent to special schools. Svoboda notes, “Roma people are often perceived as lacking interest in education, and unable to keep a commitment.” If educators believe a child fits certain characteristics before they enter a classroom, it is most probable the child will wind up displaying those characteristics.

Czech Youth Lead Europe In Drug Use

A study reveals that Czech Republic youth lead the continent in the use of drugs. Almost one half of Czech 16 year-olds have tried an illegal drug and many of them have tried marijuana or hashish. According to the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) the use of marijuana as well las hard drugs has doubled in the Czech republic since 1995. Its figures indicate an average of 23 percent of boys and 17 percent of girls have tried an illegal drug. Most European youth admit it is relatively easy to obtain illegal drugs. The Czech Republic also has the highest percentage of students who use marijuana on a daily basis.

The figures are quite clear — despite billions spent on trying to halt illegal drugs they are readily available and used by a high percent of young people. Does this suggest the current approach of “prohibition” is not working? If it isn’t working, isn’t it time for a new approach?

Czech People Oppose US Missile Bases

Over a year ago, President Bush insisted the United States had to build anti-missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic in order to protect those nations from attacks by rogue nations. Apparently, the people of the Czech Republic do not share the same concerns regarding the supposed attacks by unknown nations for unknown reasons. The latest poll in the Czech Republic indicates about 70% of people oppose construction of the bases in their nation. Most people seek a referendum before there is any building of bases.

There are indications that President Obama will not pursue the incoherent ideas of George Bush. Obama most probably will agree to end discussion concerning the bases in exchange for Russian concessions on other issues. The question is why did Bush anger Russia by seeking to build missile bases on its border against unknown enemies? Was the “enemy” really Russia?

Anti Roma Feeling Rises In Czech Republic

The Roma minority in east Europe invariably is the object of hate attacks because they are viewed as “different” and inferior. A Czech Republic political party, the right wing Workers’ Party, will soon be banned for its vicious brutality towards Romas. The Workers’ Party has witnessed a growth in membership from 9,000 in 2004 to 29,000 in 2008. Human rights activists are concerned as the economic crisis deepens, people will seek a scapegoat and the most convenient are Romas. There are already signs some political leaders are shifting toward an anti-Roma stance in order to obtain votes.

The decision to ban a political party raises many questions regarding the nature of a democracy. A true democracy distinguishes between actions of a political party and those of an individual. If a member of the Workers’ Party uses force against a Roma there are laws which provide for his criminal prosecution. There is no need to make right wing neo-Nazis pose as being oppressed by society. Trust in the power of the judiciary to handle violence against Romas. Of course, this means the police have to investigate and prosecution to resut.

Listen Obama!–Czechs Protest US Missile Bases!

One of the greatest con games that George Bush engaged in was creating the myth that somehow “rogue nations” might send missiles toward Europe which required the United States to construct missile bases on the border of Russia. The prospect of infuriating the Russian people apparently never bothered the cowboy from Texas but to people in the Czech Republic the idea of making Russia an enemy did not go over as the best idea in the world. Over 300,000 Czechs have signed a petition protesting the missile bases and a delegation of people including mayors of 30 municipalities have gone to Brussels to protest to the European Union against the American bases. Most opinion polls indicate a majority of the population is not supportive of constructing missile bases against so-called “rogue nations” when any intelligent person knows they are directed at Russia.

Barack Obama has to support the people of the Czech Republic and halt construction of bases that are of no military value and only serve to destroy relations with Russia. When Bush initially proposed the bases, then President Putin offered to allow America to establish the bases in Russia and have joint control. Of course Bush rejected the proposal because there was never any idea in his mind the bases were aimed at North Korea or Iran.

Of course, the question President Obama might pose is: why is the United States engaged in building missile bases in Europe to defend Europe against missiles from unknown sources?

Heroin Sales Rise In Europe As Smuggling Rises

Two years ago, the European Union created the Schengen Zone which allows goods to enter nations without having to be bothered by border checks. The idea was to create a free flowing distribution of goods throughout the EU, but there have been some unforseen results as the policy– a dramatic growth in heroin. A major point of entry for Afghan heroin is the Czech Republic, which in itself has never been a good market for the sale of heroin, but its position allows for easy distribution throughout the region. Police are now capturing young men from eastern Europe who use airplanes in order to bring in the heroin although a preferred route is by car since the Schengen Zone prevents searching cars unless there is reasonable suspicion of crime. Pavel Drobek of the Czech Republic Customs office, claims, “The Czech Republic now serves as a transit country for heroin. He says custom officials are surprised “they do it in such an obvious way.”

It is time for the European Union and the world to re-evaluate the entire approach toward drugs of making it a criminal product. Perhaps, a new approach which creates a process of making drugs legal will end the presence of drug lords and bribery and crime. We need new solutions for drugs in the 21st century.

Czechs Protest US Radar Bases

George Bush never met a peaceful situation he could not transform into a cauldron of steaming anger. The president took office at a time when US relations with Russia, while not perfect, still reflected a semblance of desire on both sides to cooperate. However, President Bush decided that Europe needed an anti-missile system to prevent attacks from “rogue nations” that remain unidentified although he most probably meant Iran and North Korea. The decision to construct anti-missile systems in the Czech Republic and Poland infuriated Russia and caused a new cold war to emerge. Czech protestors against the base urged their government to refuse cooperation with the United States since the only result will be to damage their nation’s relations with Russia. Most opinion polls suggest a majority of Czechs do not support the idea of missile bases.

Barack Obama has an excellent opportunity once in office to restore calm relations with Russia by voiding any anti-missile base construction. Most European leaders like President Sarkozy of France have urged an end to any effort to build such bases. If Europeans are against the anti-missile bases why is the United States building them for the ostensible reason of protecting Europe?