In March, head of the extreme People’s Party-Our Slovakia (LS-NS), Marian Kotleba, announced his plan to get rid of land-squatting Roma families by buying or acquiring the land they had erected their shanty houses on and then tear them down.
Kotleba now plans to go ahead with the move, after being donated around 800 m2 of land under a Roma settlement in Krasnohorske Podhradie. The nearby Krasna Horka castle was recently partially burned down by a fire, with blaming fingers being pointed at Roma children from the settlement of around 800 people.
The settlers say they are willing to sit round the table with the new owner and discuss the option of buying the land off him, says community head Ludovit Gundar, possibly naive to what is going on, as the original owner also refused to sell the land to them, donating it instead to Kotleba.
Over the past year in Slovakia there have been several cases of Roma settlements being razed to the ground by local authorities as well, something that Amnesty International drew attention to recently. In Kosice 80 Roma were moved into tents after they had their homes crushed in May of last year, then in June the town of Ziar nad Hronom did the same, moving the unsettled dwellers into porta-cabins. A similar fate currently hangs over around 90 families in Plavecky Stvrtok near Bratislava.