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October 23, 2016
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Hungary: Town offers impoverished Roma money to move away

Miskolc, Hungary, 23.5.2014 18:17, (ROMEA)
The flag of Hungary.
The flag of Hungary.

Czech Radio reports that municipal councilors in the northern Hungarian town of Miskolc have resolved to make a controversial offer to the residents of impoverished neighborhoods predominantly inhabited by Romani people. On the pretext of razing ghettos, they are planning to dedicate up to 2 million Hungarian forints (EUR 6 600) to every family that moves away from the town and promises not to move back there for at least the next five years.  

Miskolc does not address the question of where these people are supposed to move. An older Romani woman who lives in one of the neighborhoods on the outskirts of the town has expressed herself decisively and unambiguously on the issue:  Those living there want to remain on the town's territory. 

The point of the town's plan is to move the impoverished families, who are all but 100 % Romani, outside its limits. According to Mayor Ákos Kriza, Miskolc has several "segregates", isolated ghettos both in the town center and on the outskirts.  

Reportedly there are many more "criminal elements" present around these impoverished neighborhoods, while the ratio of criminals to non-criminals is better in the places where such segregated parts of town have been razed. Kriza said he has always been able to reach agreement with the Roma and expects to now as well.  

Because there is a need to separate the "criminal elements" from those who are impoverished, the town wants to negotiate with each family separately. Miskolc offered about a half a million Hungarian forints to Romani people to move away around 10 years ago; the current offer has been adjusted for inflation.  

The town government knows that the amount of money being offered is not enough to purchase one of the more comfortable apartments in Miskolc, only to buy one far away. Moreover, the money will only be paid to persons who agree to purchase real estate outside the town limits, and the arrangements include a clause that those who receive this "gift" will not sell their new apartments for five years, i.e., they will not relocate into Miskolc during that time.  

Czech Radio, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Housing, Hungary, Roma, Bída


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