A KOŠICE-BASED housing company offered Roma families from the infamous Luník IX suburb the price of their tickets to Great Britain or Belgium if they moved out of their flats, the Sme daily reported on September 12.
The city of Košice is planning to demolish two dilapidated blocks of flats, where some 400 inhabitants live in 48 flats, and is obliged to offer the inhabitants alternative housing.
An employee of the company in question allegedly offered to pay the Roma for bus tickets to England or to Belgium, as well as to provide some cash for the trip and even offered to arrange passports for them.
In return, the Roma would have been expected to give up their permanent addresses at Luník.
The city of Košice is the owner of the housing company but has denied responsibility for the incident. The employee of the company claimed that the city had authorised her to proceed with the offer.
“It was only an offer for families that may have wanted to move abroad,” she told Sme. The Roma involved said that none of them want to move out of Slovakia.
Deputy Prime Minister for National Minorities Dušan Čaplovič said it was a very negative sign. Stano Daniel of the Šimečka Foundation said it was outrageous and that Roma are approached with such offers on a regular basis.
Slovak Roma are not leaving the country in large numbers like Roma from the Czech Repblic. Canada has recently imposed visas on Czechs due to the mass immigration of Roma, the ČTK newswire wrote.
21. Sep 2009 at 0:00 | Compiled by Spectator staff