Hungary: Mayor tells Roma to adapt or leave in effort to run them out of town
Mayor Dávid Janiczak (age 28) of the Hungarian town of Ózd is a member of the ultra-right Jobbik ("Movement for a Better Hungary") party and is allegedly doing his best to throw impoverished people, most of whom are Romani, out of their homes through what are being called "scandalous housing regulations". Bence Tardai of the liberal Dialogue for Hungary party made the claims on 25 May.
"The mayor's intention is to punish impoverished people whether they deserve punishment or not," Tardai claims. He believes the changes to housing regulations will make it easier for local authorities to get rid of undesirable tenants and choose new ones.
The mayor has said his new housing regulations have nothing to do with evicting people and do not include any measures that are stricter. The Jobbik party took over the town in last year's elections by promising during their campaign to give the Romani minority an ultimatum - follow our rules or leave town.
On Jobbik's website a brief declaration has appeared next to a photograph of Janiczak: "We believe there are two ways to solve the Romani question... The first way is through a peace agreement, the second is through radical exclusion."
Approximately one-quarter of the inhabitants of Ózd are Romani and their situation is horrible - most of them are unemployed and living in poverty. Their situation is so serious that they are paradoxically both afraid of persecution by the Jobbik party and investing their hopes in it, as the radicals are promising to resolve what no other party before it has managed to resolve.
"Like all Roma, we are afraid of what is to come, because some people want us dead, they want to ship us out of here in cattle cars like Hitler did with the Jews," the Reuters agency quotes Szilvia Orosz of Ózd as saying. "On the other hand, if this guy Janiczak keeps his promises about honor, peace, and work, and if he gives us permanent employment, then there will be no racial discrimination here."
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