The government plenipotentiary for Roma communities, Miroslav Pollák, has begun dealing with the tense situation between villagers in Plavecký Štvrtok, western Slovakia, and a neighbouring Roma community. The mayor of the village, Ivan Slezák, continued to demand the demolition of houses built illegally in a protected zone under which a high-pressure natural gas pipeline passes, even after negotiations with the plenipotentiary on Tuesday, October 26.
Pollák called on the mayor to refrain from any hasty or radical statements, or acts that could further worsen the situation and at the same time serve as a bad example for other villages.
Slezák conceded that he could cooperate with local social workers, saying that he does not know how such assistance works. Pollák remarked that this was the first time he had heard such a positive statement from Slezák.
Pollák agreed that keeping the settlement is in the long run unsustainable, but pointed out that even if it were to be demolished by application of one law, other laws, such as those covering child protection and substitute housing, would also have to be considered. He added that it would not be possible to demolish anything in the next few months.
The Roma settlement in Plavecký Štvrtok originated several decades ago. The construction of houses and shacks took place on public land and without construction permits. There are currently around five to six hundred people living in around one hundred houses in the settlement.
On October 19, Interior Minister Daniel Lipšic visited the village to discuss the high crime rate there. He agreed with Police Headquarters that as of December 1, the police department in Stupava, the nearest town, will be reinforced. "As of January 1, the police will undergo reorganisation and we propose that special intervention units are established to deal with the increased crime rate in segregated settlements as well," the minister stated, as quoted by the SITA newswire.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
27. Oct 2010 at 14:00