Hungarian Passports are a Trap for Ukrainian Roma

Interview with Jan Černý from 'People in Need' in the Czech Republic

24 May 2022

Czechs are in solidarity with Ukrainians fleeing the war. There is no difference between Prague and the border region, says Jan Černý, Director of Social Integration Programmes at People in Need.

At the beginning of May, there were more than 200 000 Ukrainians in the Czech Republic who had fled the Russian aggression against their country. Why did the Czech Republic manage to accommodate a large wave of refugees now but refused to help even a fraction of the refugees from war-torn Syria a few years ago?

It is the experience of the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia, the permanent presence of workers from Ukraine in the Czech Republic before the Russian aggression, coexistence without conflicts, and a similar civilizational circle. 

Also important is the clear attitude of most politicians, and the clear communication from both the ruling parties and ANO. Although in the case of ANO there is now a clear thematisation of possible difficulties and criticism of the government before the autumn elections.

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Luboš Palata

EU editor of the Czech newspaper Deník and former Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the Slovak daily Pravda.

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