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Resettled Czech Romany family may return to Vsetin - minister

Vsetin, 2.11.2007 18:47, (ROMEA/ČTK)

A Czech Romany family that was relocated from the Vsetin centre to a dilapidated family house in the Prostejov vicinity, south Moravia, might return to Vsetin, Minister Dzamila Stehlikova (Greens), who is in charge of human rights and minorities, said today.

Stehlikova visited the Tulej family in Cechy pod Kosirem and then she met municipal representatives in Vsetin today.
They will deal with the complicated situation of the Tulejs at a meeting in December.

The Tulejs were among the Romanies who were relocated from Vsetin under then mayor Jiri Cunek, head of the junior ruling Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), who announced he would resign as deputy PM and local development minister from the government as the case of his alleged corruption was reopened.

Cunek, who was criticised over controversial statements on Romanies, is also suspected of abusing welfare payments in the 1990s while he at the same time deposited high sums in bank accounts.

The Tulejs now live in a family house without electricity.

The family's lawyer Tamara Vranova filed a complaint against an unknown perpetrator on suspicion of preventing the rightful use of a house. She said the district state attorney's office started to deal with the case.

The Tulejs do not own the house, but they use it on the basis of a letter of intent on the house's use with the house owner Marian Budinsky, mediator of the Vsetin Town Hall.

He blames the family for not having paid for electricity. However, the Tulejs were not allowed to apply for power supplies since they are not the real estate owners. They have paid monthly deposits for electricity to the village mayor.

Stehlikova said the authority would contact the house's owner to solve the power supplies. At the same time she pointed to the major problem - the bad technical state of the house threatening the family.

Deputy Vsetin mayor Lubomir Gajdusek, who met Stehlikova today, said he believes that the case would be successfully resolved.

Moreover, the Tulej family might have to move anyway since the local construction office made decision on the demolition of the house where 19 people live at present.

The Vsetin Town Hall says it has no adequate housing for so many people.

When Cunek headed the Vsetin Town Hall, some Romany rent-defaulters from a dilapidated house in the centre were relocated to a new house made of tin container-like flats on the town's outskirts, while further Romany families, including the Tulejs, were sent away from Vsetin and resettled elsewhere in Moravia.

These steps were sharply criticised by Romany organisations and other human rights activists. Ombudsman Otakar Motejl concluded that the Town Hall had made mistakes by resettling Romanies from the centre.
The police shelved the case, saying that Cunek thereby did not violate law .

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Czech republic, Vsetín



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