Czech City Calls for Army to Deal with Roma

Facing increasing migration, an Ústí nad Labem chamber requests army deployment

Tensions between Czechs and Roma in some areas of the Czech Republic have been unfortunately high, but an official letter from Ústí nad Labem’s District Chamber of Commerce has made international headlines.

In the letter, the Chamber’s Coordinator of External Communications Jan Kymla warns of a “demographic catastrophe that is perhaps already inevitable” in Ústí nad Labem and other cities in the Czech Republic.

“The more respectable and less aggressive element is always pushed out,” writes Kymla, comparing the situation in Ústí to that of international countries such as the USA, France, and Sweden.

According to iDnes, the Chamber has called for security to be increased and the army to be sent into the streets.

“The army can start doing this immediately, and would bring the cities big savings,” writes Kymla. “Guard duty in segregated areas would be perfect practical training.”

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The story was reported yesterday in iDnes and other local media, and immediately went international, being picked up by The Telegraph in the UK.

The Telegraph article is particularly amused with Kymla’s reference to David Cameron.

“We don’t have to invent anything, we can just copy what David Cameron has proposed for the UK,” reports The Telegraph’s Matthew Day, quoting Kymla.

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“For starters, we should set benefits at the same level as Slovakia, to remove the incentive to come here, and stop paying benefits for children.”

In conjunction with stories about Czech opposition to refugee quotas, the country isn’t receiving a particularly progressive portrait in the international press at the moment.

Of course, the rest of the country isn’t in agreement with Ústí’s Chamber.

“To imply that the army should be deployed in Usti nad Labem to deal with internal security problems in relation to one social or ethnic group is unacceptable to us,” writes Karolína Kyselová, spokesperson for the Economic Chamber of the Czech Republic.

“We disagree with any discriminatory, racist or xenophobic speeches.”

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