Czech state not signing pig farm contract today after all, money will come from next year's budget
After the Czech state signs the purchase agreement with the firm running the pig farm on the site of the former concentration camp for Romani people at Lety u Písku, it will take several months for the money to be transferred, with the state reportedly planning to release the funds by the end of the first quarter of next year. Czech Culture Ministry spokesperson Simona Cigánková announced that information yesterday.
The contract should be concluded during the next few weeks and the money to buy the farm should be disbursed through the ministry's budget. Czech Minister for Human Rights, Equal Opportunities and Legislation Jan Chvojka said last week in an interview for public broadcaster Czech Radio that the contract would be signed this week.
Chvojka specifically mentioned today's date (13 September) as the signing date. Cigánková told news server Romea.cz yesterday that the contract will certainly not be signed today and that she does not yet know the exact date when it will be signed.
The agreement to buy out the facility will become valid once it is signed. "After that, the current owner, the AGPI, a.s. company, will bring its existing customer relationships at that facility to an end," said Deputy Czech Culture Minister René Schreier, who handles the ministry's economic agenda.
"The contract will not take effect until after the pigs have been removed and the premises have been cleared, which currently we predict will happen in approximately March of next year," Schreier said. The money to buy the farm, according to him, will have to be made available by the close of the first quarter of 2018 "when the budget will also be implemented".
Czech Finance Minister Ivan Pilný (ANO) said on Monday that it only would be possible to find the money in this year's budget to increase salaries for public administration employees beginning in November if the Government were to postpone the expenditure connected with buying the farm until next year. Czech Culture Minister Daniel Herman, however, had already previously announced, after negotiating the budget with the Finance Minister in August, that the expenditure to buy the farm was being counted on for next year and that, among other matters, he would be glad to add that particular amount to the proposed 2018 budget for his ministry.
The transfer of the premises of the farm at Lety to the state was approved at the end of July by a general meeting of the AGPI company. The Government made its own decision about the buyout in August.
Resolving the situation of the pig farm's location on the site of the former WWII-era concentration camp for Romani people has been in negotiation for more than two decades. For years the Czech Republic has been criticized about the farm on the Holocaust remembrance site and the European Parliament has called for its removal.
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