Activists slam statements by Čunek about Roma integration and culture

Roma rights activists have criticised statements by the chairman of the Christian Democrats, Jiří Čunek, who said Romany family groups should be broken up in order to weaken family ties which he said prevented them from integrating. Speaking ahead of a party conference in Prague, he also said that traditional Romany culture was not compatible with modern society. Zdeněk Ryšavý of the group Romea said Mr Čunek had made the comments in an effort to increase his fading popularity.

Jiří Čunek won a seat in the Senate after moving Romany rent defaulters out of the centre of the town of Vsetín, where he was mayor. The controversial politician is demanding to be reinstated as deputy prime minister and minister for regional development, after an investigation into allegations he accepted bribes at that time was dropped. A poll this week suggested Mr Čunek’s popularity was at a record low.

Author: Ian Willoughby