December 8th, 1998|
Almost every week tv and newspaper reporters bring news of racist
related incidents, from physical assaults to the desecration of
cemeteries. However an incident which has now surfaced, shows how
indifferent the majority of us are to various manifestations of racism
and xenophobia. It was private TV PRIMA which first pointed out the
fact that toy stores were selling toys stamped with the Nazi insignia
-the swastika. The toy is selling in stores across the country and
neither the salespeople concerned nor the hundreds of X-mas shoppers
browsing through toy stores thought to protest against the fact.
Both latent an overt racism clearly has roots in this society and
President Havel met with Prime Minister Milos Zeman on Monday to
discuss a more effective government policy in combatting it.
With skinhead organizations distributing over 60 racist periodicals
throughout the country, and attacks against people of a different skin
colour a frequent occurrence, Prime minister Zeman feels that nothing
short of a frontal attack will do. He wants the skinhead movement
"I consider it very important for this government to launch
effective and concrete actions against the skinhead movement which
represents the worst inside us" Zeman told newsmen.
Constitutional Court has indicated that from the legal point of view
such a step would be difficult if not unfeasible. Although Zeman has
asked interior minister Vaclav Grulich to explore the possibilities
of crossing the skinhead movement off the ministry's list of
registered movements, the fact is that the most radical skinhead
groupings in this country are not affiliated to that movement.
the time being the prime minister is focusing on what can be done -
the establishment of a special police unit and achieving a more
effective implementation of existing legislation.
"The way I see it,
our laws provide sufficient protection against racism, if the
individuals at the respective institutions can't implement them
properly then those people should be replaced" Zeman noted.