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Ministry proposes plan to deal with illegal constructions

Rules for removing illegal buildings in Roma settlements are likely to change. Transport Ministry State Secretary František Palko presented the gradual steps to tackle the problem after meeting with Government Proxy for Roma Communities Peter Pollák and the representatives of municipalities, the TASR newswire reported on August 14.

Rules for removing illegal buildings in Roma settlements are likely to change. Transport Ministry State Secretary František Palko presented the gradual steps to tackle the problem after meeting with Government Proxy for Roma Communities Peter Pollák and the representatives of municipalities, the TASR newswire reported on August 14.

The first step will be to chart all the Roma settlements and land with illegal buildings, so that the ministry can obtain detailed information about the number, area and owners of the land in question. The land should then be transferred into state or municipality ownership, with the original owners receiving compensation in the form of other plots.

“I assume that the replacement of this land by other parcels of the same or even higher value will be a beneficial and convenient solution for the owners,” said Pollák, as quoted by TASR.

The second step would be to incorporate plots containing Roma settlements into village land plans, which is directly connected to the creation of regional-planning documentation subsidised by the ministry.

Those living in structures that do not meet the criteria of legalisation will likely receive other housing that might be financed from the European Union’s structural funds, as reported by the Sme daily.

Palko could not say how many homes will be affected by the new rules, and how much it will cost, Sme wrote.

The new construction law should take effect in July 2014, in line with the one-year transition period needed for removing illegal buildings. The one-year period was widely criticised by the opposition and representatives of NGOs who said that the rule should not be applicable in Roma settlements.

Source: TASR, Sme

For more information about this story please see: New law to aim at illegal buildings

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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