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Roma living in Lunik IX in Košice to protest

Roma residents of the Lunik IX housing complex in Košice plan to stage a protest rally in front of the city office building in the housing district. Ladislav Fízik, the head of the Slovak Roma Parliament political party and Lunik IX mayor Dionýz Slepčík told the SITA newswire that the protest is planned for May 5 at 13:00.

Roma residents of the Lunik IX housing complex in Košice plan to stage a protest rally in front of the city office building in the housing district. Ladislav Fízik, the head of the Slovak Roma Parliament political party and Lunik IX mayor Dionýz Slepčík told the SITA newswire that the protest is planned for May 5 at 13:00.

One of the points on the agenda at the meeting at the local city office is approval for a planned hunger march of local Roma to the Steel Arena Stadium before matches of the Ice Hockey World Championship.

"We want to protest against discrimination of Roma by the city," said Slepčík. He explained that they are a small district with 6,000 inhabitants but other small city parts got €120 per capita from the share of the state tax collected while Lunik IX gets only €33 per capita.

Slepčík also complained that Košice City Hall failed to pay salaries to employees of the Lunik IX district office, adding that he does not know how his district will carry out the forthcoming census because City Hall allegedly used the census funds to pay for electricity.

Fízik said that attending the talks at Lunik IX will not only be representatives of the Slovak Roma Parliament but also several Roma mayors who want to discuss a proposal to recall the government's plenipotentiary for Roma communities and pursue a suggestion to scrap the office and create a new one with a better jurisdiction and budget.

Source: SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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