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July 6, 2022



Czech Regional Governors reject most buildings proposed for housing Romani refugees from Ukraine, agreeing on just three with the Interior Minister

27.4.2022 7:17
Martin Kuba, Chair of the Association of Regional Authorities of the Czech Republic. (2022) (PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons, ZSsen)
Martin Kuba, Chair of the Association of Regional Authorities of the Czech Republic. (2022) (PHOTO: Wikimedia Commons, ZSsen)

So far, agreement has been reached with Regional Governors on just three state-owned buildings that could be suitable for the accommodation of incoming Romani refugees from Ukraine. Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Vít Rakušan (Mayors and Independents - STAN) informed the press of the outcome yesterday in the Czech Chamber of Deputies after meeting with regional leaders.

The Office for Representation of the State in Property Matters (ÚZSVM) had selected 21 possible properties, but not all are suitable, according to the Deputy Prime Minister. Regional Governors rejected most of the options. 

Originally the minister had anticipated that eight facilities could be used immediately for the refugees. "I say quite openly that I expected more of the 21 buildings would be selected," Rakušan said, adding that the agreement with the Regional Governors is not entirely ideal. 

"We have to realize that after almost two months of this immigration crisis, when every place for accommodation has been fought for, there is simply not much free capacity," the minister added, admitting that some of the buildings chosen had not been objectively suitable. The state will try to adapt the three selected properties within a week to 10 days so they are ready for accommodation purposes. 

The Deputy PM said that the facilities will provide room for about 300 refugees total. The buildings are located in the Central Bohemian, South Moravian and Vysočina Regions.

Romani nonprofit organizations have promised to take care of the facility operations. The state will provide food, for example. 

At the meeting with the Regional Governors, the Deputy PM also proposed that representatives of the Romani nonprofit sector could be sent directly to work in the regional assistance centers for refugees. He also pointed out that some Romani refugees from Ukraine also hold Hungarian passports and, according to common EU rules, they are not entitled to aid in the Czech Republic but should apply for it in Hungary. 

The same applies to all refugees who hold any other passport in addition to a Ukrainian one. According to the news server, the chairman of the Association of Regional Authorities of the Czech Republic, Martin Kuba (Civic Democratic Party - ODS), has reiterated that the Regional Authorities do not have the capacity to take care of Romani refugees from Ukraine and that all nonprofit organizations should bear all of the responsibility for helping such people.

ČTK, ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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