Czech-born Zuzana Brejcha is an Austrian filmmaker whose latest project "Gypsy Tears"( Romane Apsa)was screened at a Prague art cinema this week. The two-hour+ documentary was Brejcha's first outing as a director - after 25 years in editing - and she admits her project had a far greater impact on her life than she ever expected. Gypsy Tears is a complex portrait of several Romany families living in an extremely poor settlement in eastern Slovakia, where living conditions leave much to be desired.
The Romany hip hop group Gipsy.cz have gradually built up a following here in the Czech Republic, with their unusual mix of rap and traditional gipsy music and lyrics in Czech, English and Romani. But the band, led by Radoslav (Gipsy) Banga, have set their sights higher: on international success. Their most recent album reached the European World Music Top Ten, and at the weekend Gipsy.cz notched up another career milestone when they played at perhaps the world's greatest music festival, England's Glastonbury.
A government office dealing with the integration of the Roma minority into
the rest of society is expected to be fully functional by the beginning of
next year. In a televised debate programme on Sunday, Minister without
Portfolio responsible for minorities and human rights, Dzamila Stehlikova,
said the office would strive to prevent discrimination against Roma but
also their abuse of social benefits. A staff of some 70 people will
coordinate efforts by local authorities, schools, NGOs, and ministries.
Those sociologists specialising in minority issues who have voiced their reservations so far say they fear that the office will focus on individual cases. In a poll conducted by the Median agency, 80 percent of respondents saw the integration of the Roma community as a major problem in the Czech Republic.
A total of 346 homosexual couples, 126 in Prague, have entered into
registered partnerships since a Czech law made them legal last year. The
youngest registered couple is 18 years old; the oldest over the age of 80.
In the one year that the law on same-sex registered partnerships has been
in effect, three couples have already annulled their "marriage"
and three more are waiting for their "divorce" to come through.
The law on registered partnerships allows gays and lesbians to enquire about their partner's state of health, inherit their partner's property, and refuse to testify against their partner in a court of law. They are allowed to raise children but not adopt them.
The Moravian town of Vsetin made a grave error when it evicted a number of Roma rent defaulters last year, Ombudsman Otakar Motejl announced on Wednesday. The move to re-house the Romanies in portacabins and rundown buildings violated their basic human rights, Mr Motejl said. Some of the buildings lacked basic necessities like electricity and running water. Current Christian Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister Jiri Cunek, who was mayor of Vsetin at the time of the eviction has been facing much criticism for the move.
The district court in Ostrava has been dealing with first cases of divorces of gay couples. Ales Palkovsky, the vice-chairman of the court, said three lesbian couples have asked the court to cancel their registration, and two of them have already been cancelled. Conditions for the cancellation of registered partnerships are much softer than they are for heterosexual marriages, said Palkovsky. In the Czech Republic, gay couples have been able to contract registered partnerships since last July, after a long-term camping by homosexual advocacy groups.
A demonstration by ultra-right activists passed without any major incident in the North Moravian town of Havirov. Several dozen protesters from the far-right "National Corporatism" group demonstrated in the town's main square on Saturday afternoon against the use of drugs. Police detained one man who was drunk and shouting offensive slogans.
In Business News this week: the Czech Republic posts record export figures; the country is set to produce a million cars a year, says an industry leader; the Czech economy continues to grow at over 6 percent; unemployment falls further to 6.4 percent; Czech firms are among Europe's worst when it comes to paying their debts on time; and Czech female managers make half as much as their male counterparts.
Country’s leading epidemiologist makes U-turn on strategy of herd immunity
Economist Tomáš Sedláček: A positive look at the coronavirus crisis
Fall in coronavirus reproduction number shows efficacy of strict measures
How is coronavirus affecting Prague’s real estate market?
Czech government loosens restrictions ahead of Easter, but masses and caroling strictly banned