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Slovaks bars access to flat to Romanies with own bodies

Kosice, 11.7.2008 17:01, (ROMEA/CTK)

Occupants of a flat in Medzilaborce, East Slovakia, have prevented Romany tenants from entering the house with their own bodies, police spokeswoman Magdalena Fecova told journalists today.

The Slovaks resented the Romany origin of the new tenants. They did not let in the house neither an employee of a real estate agency nor the police who were called in, Fecova said.

If convicted, they can be sentenced up to three years in prison, she added.

"Members of the owners' cooperative prevented a man, 23, from Giraltovce, East Slovakia, and his family from entering one of the flats," Fecova said.

After the incident that occurred on Wednesday the house occupant shouted: "We will never allow Romanies to enter the house."

"We've never come across such a case. The tenant has immediately lost interest in the flat," the employee of the real estate firm that had let the flat to the Romany family told CTK.

The house occupants threatened the Romany family with physical violence and the new tenants eventually did not get in the house, she added.

The Romany family had paid a one-year rent to the firm in advance, the employee said.

The house is allegedly inhabited by former Ukrainian citizens who came to Slovakia after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

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