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Relocation of Roma from Letanovce settlement underway

The relocation of the Roma settlement Letanovský Mlyn, near the village of Letanovce in the Košice Region to a new location in Strelník in the Prešov Region began on October 1 and will last approximately for two weeks, Letanovce Mayor Michal Urban said. Some 840 Roma, deemed “socially inadaptable” by Urban, are to be relocated to approximately 100 housing units spanning an area of six hectares. “The rent that should equal €50 will be addressed via state housing contributions... We trust that, along with the Job Centre, we’ll be able to complete these contracts and, thus, the rent payments and payments for water will be covered from this contribution. Practically, they’ll live in these houses free of charge,” Urban said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. The relocation project goes back to 2004 and it took more than nine years to start moving the settlement inhabitants. Overall costs stand at €3.6 million, with Letanovce borrowing €600,000 to help finance the project. The remaining money was allocated form euro-funds. Inhabitants of the neighbouring village Spišský Štvrtok disagree with having the Roma for neighbours; however, Urban claims that they should have presented their reservations sooner and not at a time when the project has already entered its final stage. Urban said that he “inherited” the project from his predecessor, who failed to find a better location for the Roma, who he said were causing destruction of the adjacent Slovenský Raj national park and endangering tourists.

The relocation of the Roma settlement Letanovský Mlyn, near the village of Letanovce in the Košice Region to a new location in Strelník in the Prešov Region began on October 1 and will last approximately for two weeks, Letanovce Mayor Michal Urban said. Some 840 Roma, deemed “socially inadaptable” by Urban, are to be relocated to approximately 100 housing units spanning an area of six hectares.

“The rent that should equal €50 will be addressed via state housing contributions... We trust that, along with the Job Centre, we’ll be able to complete these contracts and, thus, the rent payments and payments for water will be covered from this contribution. Practically, they’ll live in these houses free of charge,” Urban said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

The relocation project goes back to 2004 and it took more than nine years to start moving the settlement inhabitants. Overall costs stand at €3.6 million, with Letanovce borrowing €600,000 to help finance the project. The remaining money was allocated form euro-funds. Inhabitants of the neighbouring village Spišský Štvrtok disagree with having the Roma for neighbours; however, Urban claims that they should have presented their reservations sooner and not at a time when the project has already entered its final stage. Urban said that he “inherited” the project from his predecessor, who failed to find a better location for the Roma, who he said were causing destruction of the adjacent Slovenský Raj national park and endangering tourists.

The first 30 families got keys from basic apartments with water and electricity supplies, the Sme daily wrote. The condition for their moving is the demolition of all old shacks in the settlement.

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