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Slovaks selling land cheap to Romani settlement residents

Slovakia, 30.11.2012 0:26, (ROMEA) News server iDNES.cz reports that the Slovaks are contemplating what to do with illegal Romani settlements in their country. One such settlement is in the village of Krásnohorské Podhradie, where part of the land is owned by neo-Nazi Marián Kotleba, who has threatened to demolish all of the small Romani homes currently on his property. Now Erika Gažiková, a member of the Romani community there, made enough extra money gathering berries and mushrooms this summer to purchase the land around her home in the Romani settlement from the village, as have other Romani residents.  full story

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Czech Republic: Open letter from Romani evacuees in usurious residential hotel

Ústí nad Labem, Předlice, 29.11.2012 16:49, (ROMEA) The situation in the Czech town of Ústí nad Labem is becoming unsustainable. The first people have been evacuated from the Předlice quarter there and the same fate probably awaits others. The town itself is mostly to blame for the situation, as it sold buildings in the quarter to private owners, some of who have no interest in maintaining them. As some residents have informed news server Romea.cz, some of the buildings probably belong to banks by now because their owners have defaulted on loans using the buildings as collateral. Structural engineers have found flaws in almost 30 buildings in the Předlice quarter, so more evacuations may lie ahead.  full story

Košické sídliště Luník IX (FOTO: Google Maps)

Slovakia: Romani people can neither stay nor go

Slovakia, 27.11.2012 16:51, (ROMEA) The Slovak daily Sme reports that a group of Romani people in eastern Slovakia has found themselves in an absurd situation. The Košice town hall evicted them from an illegal settlement and helped them move to the remote village of Rakúsa - where the mayor has now sent them straight back to Košice.  full story

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Czech Republic: Romani evacuees leave gym for residential hotels

Ústí nad Labem, 13.11.2012 15:38, (ROMEA) Romani tenants who have been evacuated from an unsuitable building on Beneše Lounského street in the Czech town of Ústí nad Labem have now left their temporary housing in the gym of the primary school in the Předlice quarter and have moved into a residential hotel in the Krásné Březno neighborhood. The 36 tenants, 27 of whom are children, were initially meant to move directly into the residential hotel after being evicted, but rejected it as untidy at the time. News server iDNES.cz reports that a female evacuee says the residential hotel has now been cleaned up and painted.  full story

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Former Czech Human Rights Minister on Romani issues

Prague, 12.11.2012 16:54, (ROMEA) News server Novinky.cz has published an extensive interview with former Czech Human Rights Commissioner Michael Kocáb. Romea.cz is publishing in translation the sections of that interview related to his most recent time in politics, including his approach toward Romani issues.  full story

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Czech Republic: More cases of dysentery in Ostrava area

Ostrava, 12.11.2012 15:31, (ROMEA) The number of cases of contagious bacillary dysentery in the Ostrava area is rising. The disease began to spread in mid-August, particularly among people living in buildings in disastrous condition and in residential hotels. The epidemic has not been stopped yet. Both adults and children are falling ill. During the last week alone, 12 people, most of them children, caught the disease.  full story

The former U Rajských restaurant in Čáslav, Czech Republic. (PHOTO:  Google Maps)

Czech Republic: 30 Romani people living without utilities in a restaurant

Čáslav, 9.11.2012 20:41, (ROMEA) Lubomír Vilímek of the Čáslav Police told the Czech Press Agency today that the former U Rajských restaurant in Čáslav is now home to 30 Romani people. With one exception, the families, including children, are living there without any electricity, functioning toilets, or hookups to running water. Police officers and patrolmen who are monitoring the situation have drawn it to the attention of the Building Works Authority of the Čáslav town hall and to social workers. Police said it was not clear to them whether the restaurant has also been licensed for use as housing.  full story

Škodova street in Přerov, photo from iDNES.cz

Czech town decides to repurchase privatized housing

Přerov, 6.11.2012 22:18, (ROMEA) The Přerov town hall wants to repurchase some of the buildings on Škodova street which it sold to a private investor five years ago. The landlord in the locality has not met the terms of the original purchase agreement, in which he promised to transform the Romani-occupied ghetto into a modern quarter. Town councilors also approved a motion to levy sanctions of CZK 500 000 against the investor and pledged to take care of the Romani people who continue to live in the half-demolished buildings. However, only tenants who have no outstanding debts with the town will be awarded leases for substitute apartments.  full story

Beneše Lounského street no. 5 in the Předlice neighborhood of Ústí nad Labem (PHOTO: Google Maps)

Czech activist: NGO more loyal to local govt than to the poor

Ústí nad Labem, Předlice, 6.11.2012 20:41, (ROMEA) Miroslav Brož of the civic association Konexe has written an open letter to the People in Need (Člověk v tísni) public benefit corporation regarding the way in which the Romani minority is being integrated and the situation in the Předlice quarter of Ústí nad Labem. News server Romea.cz is publishing the letter in full translation below.  full story

Gema Pardo consoles her daughter Amanda as they sit near a bonfire with relatives. (PHOTO: Susana Vera)

Spanish gypsies lament after homes demolished

Madrid, 6.11.2012 11:19, (ROMEA) Photographer Susana Vera documented the demolition of a long-standing gypsy community in Spain over the course of several months. She has created diptychs that pair images from before and after the demolition, as well as tell the story of the effect on the communities, showing the demolition of houses and the displacement of families.  full story

Beneše Lounského street no. 5 in the Předlice neighborhood of Ústí nad Labem (PHOTO: Google Maps)

Czech Republic: Romani tenants removed from dangerous building to gym

Ústí nad Labem, Předlice, 5.11.2012 18:06, (ROMEA) Occupants of a dangerous building in the Předlice quarter of Ústí nad Labem have ended up in a primary school gym. They left the building two weeks after being instructed to move out, at the insistence of a crisis team. The residential hotel into which they were originally to have moved does not meet their needs. They can remain in the gym until they find other housing.  full story

Beneše Lounského street in the Předlice quarter of Ústí nad Labem. (PHOTO:  Google Maps)

Czech Agency says evicted tenants must be housed in the same town

Ústí nad Labem, 3.11.2012 22:37, (ROMEA) The Czech Government Agency for Social Inclusion has issued the following press release on the situation in Ústí nad Labem - Předlice:  full story

Beneše Lounského street no. 5 in the Předlice neighborhood of Ústí nad Labem (PHOTO: Google Maps)

Czech NGO says tenants must leave condemned building

Ústí nad Labem, 2.11.2012 23:06, (ROMEA) People in Need (Člověk v tísni, o.p.s.) has released the following press release on the case of the building at Beneše Lounského street no. 5 in Ústí nad Labem-Předlice.  full story

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Czech town fears rumors of Romani "influx"

Znojmo, 1.11.2012 21:06, (ROMEA) News server Znojemský týden has reported that rumors are circulating in the Czech town of Znojmo alleging that Romani families will be moving in. The rumors first mentioned that Romani families would be moving into the building of a monastery on Louce street, then into muncipally-owned apartments on Sokolovská street, and finally that they would be moving into building no. 3 on that street, which belongs to the Znojmo-based Agropodnik company.  full story

The Předlice neighborhood in Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic (illustrative photo provided by Konexe, o. s.)

Czech Republic: The fatal catastrophe of the Předlice ghetto

Ústí nad Labem, 27.10.2012 21:58, (ROMEA) The Předlice neighborhood in Ústí nad Labem is probably the worst, perhaps even the largest, impoverished ghetto in the Czech Republic. News reports have run recently that the residents of some buildings in the neighborhood will be evicted and will probably be re-housed in residential hotels charging usurious rates. What is happening in Předlice?  full story

Škodova street in Přerov, photo from iDNES.cz

Czech town councilors to decide fate of Romani residents

Přerov, 23.10.2012 22:07, (ROMEA) The leadership of the Přerov town hall is leaving the fate of the Romani locality on Škodova street up to local councilors to decide. The town's political leadership says they will demand that Přerov back out of a sales contract with the owner of properties in the locality because the conditions of the sale were not met. Town councilors should decide whether the Romani residents still remaining in the half-ruined buildings should be awarded municipally-owned apartments even though they are not the next in line for them and other applicants have been waiting a longer time. The town council will convene at the start of November.  full story

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