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Resettled Czech Romanies want flats from Vsetin

Jesenik, 16.6.2007 13:37, (CTK)

The Romanies whom the town hall of Vsetin, north Moravia, then headed by current deputy PM Jiri Cunek, moved to dilapidated houses in three villages in the Jesenik vicinity last year, demand Vsetin to allot them flats, Sumpersky a jesenicky denik daily writes today.

The families base their demand on the opinion of Ombudsman Otakar Motejl that the Vsetin town hall breached their human rights. The ombudsman said the moving of the Romanies was tantamount to deportation.

Some of the resettled Romanies have already returned to Vsetin and live with their relatives.

Vsetin mayor Kvetoslava Othova, a member of the Christian Democratic Party (KDU-CSL) like Cunek, said that the families do not have much chances for a flat.

"It will difficult. Their right to use the flat [in which they lived in a dilapidated house in Vsetin] has been abolished and they were to be moved into the street," Othova told the paper.

She said that only those who have not applied for permanent residence in the new municipalities have a chance.

"We cannot prevent them from returning. They can be entered in the waiting list for flats. But they will have to wait and fulfil the conditions set like all the other citizens," Othova said.

The Vsetin town hall also moved rent-defaulters from the dilapidated house in the centre of Vsetin to a container-like house on the edge of the town.

Cunek and the town hall have been sharply criticised for the resettlement of the Romanies. Romany associations have filed a criminal complaint against Cunek, who has become KDU-CSL chairman, senator, deputy PM and local development minister in the meantime.

Most human rights organisations and many politicians also disagree with his procedure.

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