A petition signed by a number of people living in the village of Žehra (Košice Region) has been submitted to parliament to back a legislative initiative to allow municipalities to be divided, representatives of the Nová Žehra civic association said at a press conference where they were joined by MP Radoslav Procházka from the Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), the TASR newswire wrote.
The Nová Žehra civic association wants to separate the central part of Žehra from the Dreveník part that is primarily inhabited by Roma residents. Procházka and his KDH colleague Jana Žitňanská have prepared a legislative proposal that would allow municipalities to be divided.
TASR wrote that according to a former mayor of Žehra, František Hadušovský, there are Roma living in the centre of Žehra who regularly pay taxes but that the central part of Žehra, with less than 500 residents, generates most of the municipal resources and too much is spent on the Roma part of Dreveník, which has more than 1,500 residents.
Miloš Pacovský, chairman of the civic association, told TASR that Žehra has had a Roma mayor since 1998 and that even though the first Roma mayor had not finished elementary school and "didn't do much for the village" relations with him were not tense. Pacovský added that the situation in the village has been worsening since 2006, with the Constitutional Court ordering municipal elections to be repeated on one occasion, and stating that even though some candidates from the centre of Žehra were elected to the municipal council in 2010 they do not have sufficient influence in running of the village.
TASR reported that Pacovský said the municipal council has not adopted a budget or issued any documents since the 2010 local elections except for approval of the salary for the mayor.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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29. Nov 2011 at 10:00