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Czech Romanies welcome minister's offer of compensation

Olomouc, North Moravia, 20.2.2007 16:26, (CTK)

Czech Romany activists have welcomed Minister Dzamila Sehlikova's proposal for the government to provide a 1.5-million-crown subsidy to cover the repairs of the houses in the Jeseniky and Prostejov area where the authorities of Vsetin, north Moravia, resettled Romany families last year, Vaclav Zastera from Roma Vidnava group told CTK today.

However, it is not clear whether the money would be enough to make all the necessary repairs, he said, adding that the reconstruction costs were being calculated.

"The sum proposed by Stehlikova could certainly help start large repairs to make the houses habitable," Zastera said.

The government will discuss Stehlikova's proposal in a month.

Stehlikova said that Romanies who had been resettled to the Jeseniky and Prostejov area were living in unsuitable conditions and that they were unable to pay for repairs because they have to re-pay the costs of the houses they live in.

Deputy Prime Minister and Local Development Minister Jiri Cunek who was Vsetin mayor when the town hall decided to evict the Romanies from the centre of Vsetin and move them to other areas dismissed the criticism for the current situation.

However, Stehlikova said that part of the money required for the reconstruction of the current Romany housing should be covered by the Local Development Ministry and the Vsetin and Zlin regions.

Vsetin moved Romanies from the town last October. Most of the families ended up in houses on the verge of Vsetin, but large Romany families were moved to dilapidated houses in the Jeseniky and Prostejov areas.

The houses were transferred to their ownership and they will repay them in the next 20 years.

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Czech republic, Vsetín



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