Slovakia’s OĽaNO party holds news conference to discuss Roma issues

The chairman of the Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) party, Igor Matovič, and MP Alojz Hlina from the same party disagree somewhat over how to address issues pertaining to the Roma population, the TASR newswire wrote after OLaNO's held a press conference on July 23. "In any family, whenever two people examine the same problem they may arrive at differing measures. We've been saying all along that we aren't striving for artificial unity of views but to find the truth, which may involve variance in views, confrontation, perhaps at times even an argument and controversy concerning certain of the approaches proposed," stated Matovič, as quoted by TASR.

The chairman of the Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) party, Igor Matovič, and MP Alojz Hlina from the same party disagree somewhat over how to address issues pertaining to the Roma population, the TASR newswire wrote after OLaNO's held a press conference on July 23.

"In any family, whenever two people examine the same problem they may arrive at differing measures. We've been saying all along that we aren't striving for artificial unity of views but to find the truth, which may involve variance in views, confrontation, perhaps at times even an argument and controversy concerning certain of the approaches proposed," stated Matovič, as quoted by TASR.

Hlina has proposed that the state redefine the number of children within families that it can support and alter allowances provided to parents upon the birth of children.While showing respect for Hlina's approach, Matovič said that he does not concur with it. Matovič added that while Hlina advocates a single solution, he promotes a comprehensive package of 20-30 measures dealing with Roma issues.

Matovič and MP Peter Pollák, a Roma, presented conclusions on July 23 from what they called as a 'Tour de Roma' in recent days. The trip, in which Hlina also took part, included visits to several Roma settlements in Slovakia. Matovič and Pollak summed up their findings in 14 points that they said should lay the groundwork for developing solutions. The problems included a poorly-set social system and insufficient education for Roma children.

Before going public with their proposed range of measures to address the state of affairs, Matovič and his colleagues are planning to approach the governing Smer party to elicit support for their initiative.

Smer has been considering replacing current the government proxy for the Roma Communities, Miroslav Pollák, and transferring the office from Bratislava to an area with a sizeable Roma population, such as near the eastern Slovak town of Spišská Nová Ves in Košice region. Matovič told the media that there have been some unofficial 'feelers' between OĽaNO and Smer concerning Roma issues but he rejected claims that his party has its eyes set on nominating someone for the the post of government proxy.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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