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Prague's tent city almost full with 142 Romani refugees from Ukraine there, others head to Germany after bad experiences in the Czech Republic

16.5.2022 6:55
About 30 Romani children and women from Ukraine left the Czech Republic on 15 May 2022 for Germany. The Konexe organization aided them with their departure, just as it has assisted other such groups previously. (PHOTO:  ROMEA TV)
About 30 Romani children and women from Ukraine left the Czech Republic on 15 May 2022 for Germany. The Konexe organization aided them with their departure, just as it has assisted other such groups previously. (PHOTO: ROMEA TV)

The "tent city" in Prague's Troja neighborhood is almost full after 142 Romani refugees from Ukraine took shelter there this weekend; the capacity of the facility is 150 beds. Vít Hofman, spokesperson for Prague City Hall, informed the Czech News Agency of the numbers yesterday. 

Prague is allegedly facing a lack of capacity for refugees. The "tent city" is intended especially for refugees who are now stuck at the main train station. 

These refugees should stay in Troja while the authorities decide whether they are eligible for temporary protection visas. Some Romani refugees from Ukraine are leaving after having bad experiences in the Czech Republic, with some even returning to Ukraine unaided. 

"The situation in the tent city is calm," Hofman said yesterday. "The assistance center in the Vysočany quarter and the situation at the main train station are also calm." 

The first 16 Romani refugees from Ukraine were brought to the "tent city" by authorities on Saturday shortly after noon. Volunteers at the capital's main railway station then identified several families who had been living there for a longer time and 17 more people were offered the opportunity to move into the "tent city". 

"Before the family makes the journey, the Aliens Police in collaboration with the Regional Assistance Center for Aid to Ukraine checks whether they are actually people who have initiated temporary protection proceedings and have a hope of lawfully obtaining visas," Hofman told the media. "This step should relieve the influx at the main train station."

Romani refugees from Ukraine leave the Czech Republic after bad experiences

Other Romani refugees from Ukraine have left the Czech Republic after bad experiences here; about 30 women and children yesterday were assisted with leaving by the Konexe organization, a local association. "We met a group of traditional Romani women with children in front of the Prague Regional Assistance Center for Aid to Ukraine in Vysočany," Miroslav Brož of Konexe informed news server Romea.cz.

"We discussed what still awaits them here in the Czech Republic, they had many young children with them and they really disliked sleeping in the park or on the dirty floor of the train station. I offered the solution that they continue on to the Federal Republic of Germany," Brož said, adding that the group left today after 18:00.

Prague is reportedly struggling with a big influx of refugees from Ukraine and a lack of space; the assistance center in the Vysočany quarter, which serves all of the Central Bohemian Region and the metropolis, has handled about 88 000 refugees since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine at the close of February. Last week, Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates) called for the creation of a nationwide mechanism for the redistribution of refugees from the war among the regions of the Czech Republic. 

According to the mayor, there are now four more refugees from Ukraine per 1 000 inhabitants in Prague than there are in some other regions of the Czech Republic. The mayor has threatened to close the Prague Regional Assistance Center for Aid to Ukraine next week if a plan for redistribution is not agreed. 
 

ČTK, ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Immigration, Konexe, o. s., pomoc, Prague



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