It was a weekend of civil, or let’s say ethnic, disputes against the Roma segment of the population with renowned extremist Marian Kotleba pushing forward with his plan to remove squatting Roma families from his land, and a public march against ‘non-conforming citizens’ taking place in the streets of Partizanske.
The 800 or so Roma living in houses they built on Kotleba’s land in East Slovakia were fearing the worst on Saturday as he showed up to survey the situation and plot out the disputed land borders. Accompanied by a helicopter, hundreds of riot police were on hand to prevent any conflicts, refusing to let the hundreds of supporters who had come to support the initiative into the settlement.
Kotleba is carrying out his plan within the confines of the law, though, and once the borders of his land are established, he will try to remove the illegal dwellings. His actions have received the support of a large part of the public and even politicians, thanks to the core argument that nobody has the right to occupy and utilise someone else’s land. As calls for Roma to conform to society’s rules are on the rise, head of the SaS party, Richard Sulik, even wrote a blog piece on how Slovakia is not a state of law if people can just occupy your land then be protected by the police, instead of the state intervening.
Meanwhile, in the town of Partizanske in Central Slovakia a few thousand people showed up at a protest rally against certain ‘non-conforming” Roma, who the locals feel are not subject to the same rules as they. The rally through the streets of the town had the support of Mayor Jozef Bozik and the town council.
As the rally neared an end, a large group of around 200 Neo-Nazis made a move for the housing scheme where the Roma live, but were stopped short by the police. Partizanske has teamed up with the towns of Handlova and Ziar nad Hronom to organise a common petition to the government to deal with the increasingly tense social situation concerning co-habitation.
Interior minister Robert Kalinak said the government would now take a harder line with issues of this kind, while denying any knowledge that he and others public officials had been invited to the event, as claimed by the town mayor.
Herr Sulik may have gained more political credability if, during their short tenure, the government he served in had done something about the Roma issues. Fact is he/they didn’t so he should put a sock in it and stop enflaming the situation. It would also improve Slovakia’s image in the rest of the world if Slovak politicians condemned the actions of the Neo-Nazi groups or better still banned such organisations as their agenda is clearly a breach of International Law and the denial of fundamental human rights to anyone who doesn’t fit their twisted concepts of racial supremacy.
The Roma are as much the victims in many cases – is it not true that during the communist regime all land was state property and the state ordered the Roma to live where their settlements now stand. The fact that much of the land has now been returned to its righful owners and the settlements are now “illegal” is hardly the fault of the Roma. Allowing individuals such as Kotleba to act in what is clearly a racially motivated way is not going to solve the problem, nor are successive governments sweeping the issue under the carpet.
The Mayor and council of Partizanske supporting a rally of residents to demonstrate about “non-conforming” elements – specifically the Roma population, is both bemusing and bizarre not to mention so typically Slovak. Is not the Mayor the de facto CEO of the local authority? If so, then if the Roma are not complying with the “rules” is it not due to the incompetence of the LA staff? Illegal building? – where were the planners and building control staff? Arrears of rent or local taxes? – where were the rent collectors and finance staff, Damage to public housing? – Where were the housing managers? Breaking the law – where were the Meska Police? Children not attending school? Schools inspectorate? The residents of the towns mentioned should be venting their anger about the situation at the non-jobs who have allowed this situation to develope and not be so stupid as to fall for the ploy of the local politicians and place all the blame at the door of the Roma.
Lovely eh? The Nazi Slowvaks called the Roma garbage and believes only the Ayran Skin headed Slowvaks he supports, are a decent people .These Ayran`s are then concerned about the anti-social behaviour of inadaptable citizens (Roma) who live almost in every single town or village in Slovakia.
Does this country actually have a functioning justice system and government ?
Nazis were an unmitigated disaster for Germany. They caused the destruction of the country, millions of unneeded German deaths and stigmatization of a great historical culture.
It beggars belief they can be held up as a role model.