Czech senators back ombudsman's stand on Romany resettlement
The senators backed Motejl's general conclusions and recommended that they be used in formulating guidelines for municipalities' approach to the Romany issue.
Motejl in June stated that the Vsetin town hall made a mistake when it moved a number of Romany families from a dilapidated house in the town's centre.
The across-the-board solution the Vsetin hall applied definitely does not solve the problems faced by the Romany community and by families threatened with social exclusion, Motejl said.
He said that a systemic and working method of securing housing for such people is lacking for the time being.
Motejl appreciated Vsetin for trying to solve the social situation of the Romany families. He said the moving of some of them to special container-like flats on the outskirts of Vsetin was legitimate, though he does not consider the containers suitable as a permanent place of residence.
On the other hand, Motejl sharply condemned the eviction of a part of the Vsetin Romanies outside the town and their resettlement elsewhere in Moravia.
He said that accepting such methods would mean to approve of "the export of socially excluded families" from towns and villages where they have lived for a long time.
The resettlement of these Romanies breaches their fundamental right for respect for their family and private lives. In addition, it deteriorated their social situation, Motejl said.
He said Vsetin should enable them to return to the town and apply for a municipal flat.
Jiri Cunek, the then mayor of Vsetin, who has become a senator, deputy PM, minister and head of the junior ruling Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) in the meantime, admitted in reaction to Motejl's report in June that the solution the Vsetin hall chose was not optimal. He insisted nevertheless that Vsetin offered a helpful hand to the local rent-defaulters.
On Monday Vsetin announced that it has enabled two families from the container-like flats to return to standard flats in the town that their tenants, also Romanies, abandoned last week.
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