Residents were evicted in the northeastern city of Miskolc on Wednesday as part of the local government’s efforts to eliminate slums in the outskirts of the city.

The Roma self-government of Miskolc organised a protest in Miskolc on Wednesday afternoon against the evictions.

A woman and a family with three children were evicted based on a court order. Attila Soos, a spokesman for the local council’s Fidesz group, told a press conference that the evictions were legal, as the families had not paid bills for rent to the local council for years. He added that he city was carrying out its slum elimination programme backed by 35,000 local residents.

With such strong local support, “there is no going back,” Soos said. He added that the evictions were proof that “the rule of law was working in Miskolc.”

Leftist opposition parties and civil organisations however protested the evictions. The Democratic Coalition (DK), E-PM’s local chapter and the Socialists said in a joint statement on Wednesday that the tenants who were evicted denied that they were behind with their rent payments and held documents to prove that they had paid their debt. They called on the local mayor Akos Kriza to abide by his earlier promise to stop the eviction “of a family where the father was working, the mother was enrolled in a training programme and only the children were at home”.

The radical nationalist Jobbik said the slums should have been eliminated already in 2010 and today’s evictions were “just a legal procedure”.

The city council of Miskolc approved in May a decree sponsored by the ruling Fidesz-KDNP on dismantling the city’s “ghettos and slums” with the aim of making the city safer and more liveable.

Original source