Final Word from Tuesday, July 21, 2009

After saying for weeks that Canada's own benevolent immigration policy was to blame for the imposition of visas on Czech travelers, the cabinet of Jan Fischer declared yesterday that racism was the main factor in driving Czech Roma to seek asylum in Canada. This is an odd reversal, given that Foreign Minister Jan Kohout had offered recently to conclude a safe-country agreement with Canada, which would have been official confirmation that Gypsies are not discriminated against and therefore are not entitled to political asylum. Almost everyone, even many Roma, admit that the flight to Canada has been economic. By going out of its way - on paper, at least - to fight racism, the Fischer cabinet is creating racism where it isn't. At its extreme, this could cause Czechs who don't have radical thoughts to begin looking at minority groups and foreigners as the main cause of many of their problems.[Czech Republic requirement]

Glossary of difficult words

benevolent - generous, charitable;

imposition - the action or process of imposing, requiring;

to go out of one's way - to make a special effort to do something;

correction - it is Jaromír Soukup, not Jaroslav. Our apologies.


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