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Situation of Vsetin Romanies improves partly - Czech ombudsman

Vsetín, 5.12.2007 16:12, (ROMEA/CTK)

Czech ombudsman Otakar Motejl believes that the situation of Romanies in the north Moravian town of Vsetin improved only partly six months after he drafted recommendations for resolving their problems, spokeswoman for his office Iva Hrazdilkova said today.

According to Motejl, there are improvements in the social work with Romanies, but he has objections to the work of the local construction office, Hrazdilkova said.
In his report CTK has received Motejl praised the Vsetin authorities for achieving the progress in all areas of social work with Romanies. He praised the Vsetin Town Hall's decision to increase the number of social workers dealing with child protection and its efforts to turn the Vsetin Poschla neighbourhood mainly populated by Romanies into a real part of the town.

However, Motejl is mainly concerned about the difficult situation of the Romany family resettled from Vsetin to Cechy pod Kosirem, south Moravia, Hrazdilkova said.
The Romany Tulej family that the Town Hall of Vsetin had moved to a dilapidated family house in Cechy pod Kosirem will lose roof over their heads since the South Moravian regional authority has recently rejected the complaint by the house owner against the demolition ordered by the construction office this summer.

The house will thus be soon demolished.

The Tulej family are still officially residents of Vsetin and they have asked the Vsetin Town Hall for a municipal flat. However, the Town Hall said it had no substitute housing for the family.

Motejl stressed the need to help the Tulej family. He said the authorities will place the family on the list of persons waiting for municipal housing and will try to find substitute housing for the family members.

Motej offered to mediate the talks to solve this serious problem.

The Tulejs are one of the Romany families that were evicted from their homes in Vsetin and moved outside the town when Jiri Cunek, head of the junior ruling Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL), was its mayor last year.

Some Romany rent-defaulters were moved from a dilapidated house in the centre of Vsetin to a new house made with tin container-like flats on Vsetin's outskirts, while other 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. Motejl concluded that the Town Hall had made mistakes in resettling Romanies from the centre.

The police shelved the case, saying that Cunek did not violate law.

Senator Cunek who recently resigned as Czech deputy PM and local development minister from the government over the re-opening of the case of his alleged corruption might return to the cabinet after his criminal prosecution was recently definitively halted.

On Tuesday, the KDU-CSL leadership re-nominated Cunek for the government posts.

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Czech republic, Vsetín



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