Slovak Municipal Authorities Propose Referendum to End Housing Project for Roma
11 March 2005
According to the Bratislava-based non-governmental organisation Milan Šimečka Foundation (MSF), in September 2004, the municipal council of the eastern Slovak town of Hermanovce decided to hold a referendum on October 1 as to whether to cancel a tender to apply for funding under the EU’s PHARE programme for the provision of infrastructure in the town’s Romani settlement. The infrastructure project was a prerequisite for the construction of social housing, to be commenced within three months of the completion of the infrastructure project, for Romani inhabitants of the town currently living in informal slum housing. Eighty percent of the infrastructure project was to be financed within the auspices of the EU PHARE programme.
According to the MSF, the referendum took place, but was invalid as not enough voters turned out. However, in the end, the tender sent to companies to bid on was deemed invalid because the companies had reportedly received differing information. It is expected that a new tender will be opened. (MSF)