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Deputy minister disciplined for calling Roma jellyfish

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Prague, Sept 15 (CTK) – Czech Deputy Industry and Trade Minister Karel Novotny will be stripped of his regular bonus for three months because he wrote that the Roma are like jellyfish, being “a nuisance, good for nothing,” the Industry and Trade Ministry said in a press release on Friday.

Industry and Trade Minister Jiri Havlicek (Social Democrats, CSSD) also rebuked Novotny under the Labour Code, it added.

Novotny apologised for what he said and offered his resignation on Friday.

Novotny wrote his words within a Facebook discussion, posting his comment on the profile of the group Outraged Mothers which is against migrants, the Roma and sexual minorities.

Havlicek had a meeting with Novotny over the statement on Friday.

“I told him that with his conduct he seriously harmed the good name of our ministry and also violated the working rules which include the ethical code of the ministerial employee,” Havlicek said.

Havlicek told Novotny if this repeated, he would dismiss him.

“I deeply regret being as rash as to speaking about the Roma minority with the abusive words,” Novotny said.

“I realise that such a conduct is incompatible with my position of deputy minister and that I could harm the good name of the ministry,” he added.

Novotny joined the Social Democrats in 1998. He was the deputy mayor of Most, north Bohemia, between 2010 and 2014.

There are nine deputy ministers at the Industry and Trade Ministry. He is in charge of political affairs there.

The Social Democrats have nominated him for the 13th place on their list of candidates in the Usti Region. His chances of being elected to the Chamber of Deputies are meagre.

Usti Region has a sizeable Roma minority.

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