By way of background to the petition on behalf of the Roma of Miskolc published here, I would like to add a few words about the setting in which it was born. Hungarian Spectrum had at least two earlier posts devoted to the plight of the Roma inhabitants of Miskolc.
The first was published in January 2013 when it became known that the mayor of the city, Ákos Kriza, who does not hide his racism, objected to “Canada sending its refugees to Miskolc.” Kriza was talking about those Hungarian citizens who, in the hope of a better life, left for Canada and who subsequently were sent back home by the Canadian government. Kriza wanted to make sure that no returning Gypsy would ever settle in the city of Miskolc. Once the mayor realized that he had no legal means to achieve his goal, he began looking for “criminal elements” among the returnees.
Obviously, Kriza wants to have a Roma-free Miskolc because a year and a half later he came up with another plan. The city council, on which Fidesz has the majority, voted for the “liquidation of ghettos and slums.” The elimination of ghettos and slums could be a noble gesture, but it turned out that the city was not going to provide better housing for those whose houses will be razed to build a new football stadium and a large parking lot. The to-be evicted families had the following choices. If they decided to remain within the city limits they would not be compensated for the loss of their homes. If they opted to leave town, however, they would receive between 1.5 and 2 million forints. About 400 families are affected by this ordinance.
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Raise your voice against ethnic cleansing in Miskolc, Hungary
To The Institutions of the European Union
Esteemed European Commission!
Esteemed European Parliament!
We raise our voices against the expulsion from their homes of the Roma of the city of Miskolc, against ethnic cleansing in Miskolc!
The Roma of Miskolc had to leave their homes so that another expensive and unneeded sport stadium could be built there. This development is supported by millions of euros by the EU, so the EU cannot ignore that its implementation includes ethnic cleansing.
Therefore we request the European Union to initiate an official investigation into the case of institutionalized exclusion of the Roma of Miskolc, to act against the expulsion from their homes of the Roma of Miskolc, and to take immediate steps to avoid mass homelessness so as to stop the imminent humanitarian catastrophe!
We expect European institutions not to finance with even one cent our isolation, exclusion from housing, from employment, from the basic right to form a business!
Hungary is our homeland but Europe is our home. Hungary treats us like a bad step-parent would, thus we are looking for Europe’s help!
And if a country that introduced tyranny and institutionalized racism can belong to the European Union, then Europe should protect those who are persecuted!
Europe and its democratic countries should recognize as political refugees those individuals and families from Miskolc who were excluded and persecuted based on racial-social justification, and were subjected to ethnic cleansing. Europe and its democratic countries should review their contradictory relationship to the Geneva Convention and should take determined steps to ensure that everything in that Convention is also applied to Europe’s Roma, who are being deprived of their rights!
Gábor Váradi, Aladár Horváth, Béla Rácz
Budapest, March 13, 2015.