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Two Czech Romany families can move from containers to flats

Vsetin, 9.7.2007 17:15, (ČTK)

The Vsetin Town Hall will enable two Romany families that were moved from a local dilapidated house to container-like flats on the town outskirts last year to move to standard flats that their tenants, also Romanies, abandoned last week, Eva Stejskalova told CTK today.

The resettlement of hundreds of Romanies by the Vsetin hall caused uproar last autumn. Many people supported the step while a number of others sharply criticised it.

Stejskalova, the Vsetin hall's spokeswoman, said that both families concerned that have lived in the special "containers" since the autumn have duly fulfilled their obligations as municipal flats tenants, and owe no money to the town.

That is why the town hall has picked them out. It expects this to motivate further residents of the tin container-like flats in Vestin's Poschla neighbourhood, Stejskalova said.

The standard flats have been abandoned by other Romany families that have bought a family house elsewhere in north Moravia.
Tens of Romany families were moved to Poschla from a dilapidating house that the town hall has pulled down in the meantime.
The Vsetin hall, including the then Vsetin Mayor Jiri Cunek, were sharply criticised for the step. Romany associations lodged a criminal complaint against Cunek, who was elected head of the junior ruling Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) in December and became deputy PM and local development minister in January.

Cunek's approach to the Vsetin Romanies has also been criticised by human rights organisations and by many politicians.
The Vsetin Town Hall says it is convinced that its step was correct.

Ombudsman Otakar Motejl, however, recently came to the conclusion that the Vsetin hall has made a mistake when it moved hundreds of Romanies from the centre of Vsetin. He pointed to a number of mistakes municipal officials made in this case, and he said that the local construction office should not have allowed the house, originally inhabited by Romanies, to dilapidate.
The Poshla area is not suitable for living, Motejl wrote in his report about the Vsetin case.

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Czech republic, Vsetín



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