DEMOLITION OF ILLEGAL ROMA HOUSING IN BULGARIA's GARMEN POSTPONED
Roma people from “Kremikovtsi” neighbourhood in the municipality of Garmen, South-West Bulgaria, demanded the Mayor of Garmen, Mika Kapitanova, to resign. In their opinion she was supportive of the protesting residents in the village and did not even...
Roma people from “Kremikovtsi” neighbourhood in the municipality of Garmen, South-West Bulgaria, demanded the Mayor of Garmen, Mika Kapitanova, to resign. In their opinion she was supportive of the protesting residents in the village and did not even once visit the neighbourhood to become familiar with the problem of the Roma community.
Kapitanova said she would not resign.
The demolition of two illegal buildings in the Roma neighbourhood in Garmen, scheduled for 13th of July, did not take place. It was postponed because of a letter from the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.
The Roma people insist that the Mayor should find a solution as soon as possible and provide homes for the people evicted from the illegal buildings.
Kapitanova said she offered accommodation in the building of the local school, but they did not like it.
The letter from Strasburg in relation to the demolition of the illegal dwellings is not a must letter, but a warning, said the Mayor, who all day waited for a meeting with construction control officials to discuss when the illegal buildings would be demolished.
However, the meeting did not take place.
In Garmen, the Chairperson of the Civic Council with the Bulgarian Council of Ministers, Angel Gadzhev, said that the government should take measures against all illegal buildings, no matter whether they belong to Roma people or not.
Residents of Garmen are planning to stage a protest in front of the Bulgarian Parliament on 18th of July. They want to meet with the Minister of Regional Development, Lilyana Pavlova, and discuss the application of the law and whether or not the illegal dwellings of the Roma community would be pulled down.
On 23th of May, clashes between Bulgarian and Roma people broke out in Garmen, leading to a number of injuries and arrests.
Tensions between Bulgarians and Roma people in the municipality were said to have existed for years because of illegally built houses, frequent thefts of agricultural products and robberies of homes, for which the local residents blamed the Roma people living in “Kremikovtsi” neighbourhood.
On 2nd of June, residents of the village of Garmen held a protest in front of the local municipality, putting their demands, including the demolition of illegal buildings in the Roma quarter.
In the meantime, after inspections, the authorities launched a campaign of pulling down the illegal houses.
So far, 4 illegal buildings were demolished and the fate of the other 120 illegal dwellings in “Kremikovtsi” neighbourhood is not clear yet.