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Czech Human Rights Minister rejects notion that mayors can decide who will live in a municipality

25.10.2015 8:26
Drahomíra Miklošová, Mayor of Obrnice
Drahomíra Miklošová, Mayor of Obrnice

Mayor of Obrnice Drahomíra Miklošová is calling for increased powers to be granted to mayors so they can decide who can live in their communities. She has repeatedly called the situation in her own municipality grave recently because a larger number of Romani families are now returning there after having attempted to settle in England.

"It is possible to integrate and to run many programs when there is just a certain proportion of our Romani fellow citizens in the community, but if we reach 50 %, it is almost unmanageable," the mayor has explained. In her view is is possible to cope with a municipality where 30 % of the inhabitants are Romani, but the basic premise should be that the local government gets the final word about who lives on the territory:  "I want to decide who we can register here and who not."

The Czech Human Rights Minister, however, says such a demand is unacceptable. "I would really be afraid of trying to define who is and who is not eligible to become an inhabitant of a certain muncipality. I believe that is most likely absolutely unacceptable in a democratic society," said Czech Deputy Human Rights Minister Martina Štěpánková. 

Michal Komárek, Denisa Tišerová, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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