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February 28, 2020
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Czech town says planned wall not ethnic motivated - press

Havlickuv Brod, East Bohemia, 29.8.2007 12:34, (CTK)

The considered construction of a fence between community houses for rent-defaulters and a house of owners in Havlickuv Brod is not ethnic-motivated, deputy mayor Libor Honzarek told journalists today.

He said that not only Romanies live in the community houses, but some of the 12 families living there do not respect the fundamental rules of decent behaviour and hygiene.

Honzarek said the town would not be opposed to the building of a fence which some private owners of the apartment house have called for, but it is not yet clear who and when will build it.

Havlickuv Brod mayor Jana Fischerova said the town had never had any problems with the about 30 living Romanies living in the town.

Honzarek said it is a common practice to build fences between family houses and that this particular fence would be built to protect the property of the housing cooperative owners.

He said the people complain of their neighbours getting into their cellars and move around the house corridors where they have nothing to do. People also complain of their children not being able to play in the yard that is common for the houses.

"The aim is not to separate the (Romany) community, but to secure the fundamental coexistence principles," Honzarek said.
The town hall says the situation cannot be compared to the case of the ill-famed Maticni street in Usti nad Labem, north Bohemia.

Maticni street became a symbol of Romanies' problems in October 1999 when Usti nad Labem authorities started to build a fence there.

They justified it saying they want to protect the owners of private houses who repeatedly complained about the noise and disorder made by the residents of flats for rent defaulters on the other side of the street.

However, the residents of the flats, mostly Romanies, protested against the fence, along with Czech and foreign human rights activists, as they viewed it as an expression of racism.

The ceramic fence was dismantled after six weeks.

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