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January 18, 2022



Czech Romanies from Vsetin buy uninhabitable house - press

Vsetin, 14.7.2007 16:54, (CTK)

The house a ten-member Romany family from Vsetin, north Moravia, recently bought in Strazisko on loan from the Vsetin town hall, is uninhabitable and they have returned to the town and stay with their relatives, Prostejovsky denik daily writes today.

"We wanted to find a house in the countryside because there is racism in Vsetin. The purchase was mediated by Mr Koloc from Imbex company. He said we would repair it for a couple of thousands of crowns. But bricks are falling there and children can get injured anywhere. We do not even have where to cook, where to take a shower or do the washing. There is not even a toilet there," Jan Ziga, the family's oldest member, told the paper.

He said he would like to withdraw from the purchase contract and to find another house.

But this will not be that easy, Romany coordinator Renata Koettnerova told the paper.
She said the Vsetin town hall did not act at variance with law. "The question of ethics is not considered, unfortunately. I have learnt from the Romany family that the town hall mediated the house purchase through Imbex. Imbex offered them the house and they thoughtlessly accepted the offer, and this is the fundamental problem," Koettnerova said.

"They should have consulted an expert. He would have explained to them that the house will require investment of hundreds of thousands. Now it will be very difficult to solve the situation," Koettnerova told the paper.

The town hall in Vsetin moved already last year several tens of Romanies to devastated houses elsewhere in Moravia. The town hall bought them and the Romanies now must repay the money to it.

This happened when Vsetin's mayor was Jiri Cunek who has become a senator, chairman of the junior government Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), deputy prime minister and local development minister in the meantime.

Cunek also had other Romanies, rent-defaulters moved from a dilapidated house in the town's centre to container-like houses on Vsetin's edge.

Cunek and the town hall have been sharply criticised for the moving of the Romanies, and several Romany associations have filed criminal complaints against him.

Ombudsman Otakar Motejl has said the town hall clearly made a mistake when it moved Romanies.

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