Another wall against Roma erected in Košice

The housing estate Západ (West) in the eastern-Slovak city of Košice tried to seclude neighbouring “inadaptable citizens”, by erecting a wall that divides the inhabitants of the estate from the Roma living in the nearby Lunik IX and Lunik VIII estates.

The housing estate Západ (West) in the eastern-Slovak city of Košice tried to seclude neighbouring “inadaptable citizens”, by erecting a wall that divides the inhabitants of the estate from the Roma living in the nearby Lunik IX and Lunik VIII estates.

This is the eighth such wall since built in the Košice and Prešov regions, where most of Slovakia’s most segregated communities of Roma live. All told, there are 14 such walls in Slovakia, the Sme daily wrote in its July 12 issue. Self-governing administrations and local offices decide on building these walls and no-one can stop them from doing so, as they usually state some official reason, according to non-governmental organisations focusing on the Roma issue who spoke with Sme.

The most recent wall has become a bone of contention between Košice’s city administration and the administration of the Západ borough. Košice spokeswoman Martina Urik Viktorinová told the TASR newswire that the city administration has not issued any license to construct this wall.

Head of the office of the Západ mayor, Marián Krajňák, insists that the borough asked Košice for a stance concerning the planned construction and received approval. The borough then informed city administration in written form and the “minor construction, the fence surrounding a parking lot” was announced at the City of Košice Construction Office. City officials insist there wall is not approved making it construction illegal. The Construction Office will launch a proceeding on the case, officials said.

(Source: Sme, TASR)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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