Garmen Citizens Dissatisfied With Local Government's Reaction

Incidents | May 26, 2015, Tuesday // 10:57|  views

Interior Minister Rumyana Bachvarova Photo: EPA/BGNES

''Come again in a week's time,'' called on the citizens of Garmen to Bulgarian Interior Minister Rumyana Bachvarova.

She held a meeting alongside Secretary General to the Interior Ministry, as well as representatives of the municipality.
Ethnic tensions emerged after a mass beating and following protest staged by the citizens of Garmen, demanding that the Roma population leaves the village.

Meanwhile, nearly 200 protesters were shouting ''Mafia!'' right in front of the municipal building. Soon after three representatives of the protesters were admitted to the talks.

Bachvarova held a speech in front of the already 500 protesters on the main square, stating the government intentions and solutions proposed. Upon the meeting, an announcement was made that additional video monitoring, stricter security measures and open dialogue on the issue will be organized.

''With regards to the illegal buildings that are 124 in total, we will act according to the law - they cannot be destroyed, if the municipality hasn't found temporary residences. They will be checking not only the address registrations not merely in the Roma neighborhood, but also all people living in the municipality.''

According to the chair of the NGO Citizens Conscience, Anton Baltadzhiev, violations on behalf of the Roma population had been registered years ago. Reportedly, 129 buildings in the Garmen neighborhood of Kremikovtsi have been declared unsuitable for living and had to be demolished. There had been a term for people to move out, however, after the deadline passed, local government did not take any further measures and just left the buildings in their spots. Baltadzhiev added that some of the people there had been wanted on account of various crimes.

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Tags: Bulgaria, Garmen, Roma, population, clash, ethnic, protest, citizens, Rumyana Bachvarova, government


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