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Roma and Sinti have to change places

Roma and Sinti have to change places

In Tolln an der Donau, there were frequent discussions as Roma and Sinti settled in the trade fair car park on the southern corridor. In particular, state parliament member and local councilor Andreas Börs (FPÖ) has repeatedly criticized the local settlement. “There appear to be no rules for the travelers because they arrived two weeks ago without notice. As if that were not enough, they are now camping in the trade show parking lot without consultation,” Bors confirmed in a press release in August of the previous year.

Two days ago, according to another FPÖ broadcast, 25 Roma and Sinti caravans were again parked in the southern trade fair car park. “This has now been successfully removed,” the FPÖ said. “I am glad that there are now clear rules and that the Roma and Sinti who return every year can no longer camp in the wild wherever they want,” says Bors. The city's culture and schools advisor, Peter Hockner, could not confirm on Thursday that the camp had actually been evacuated, but “those affected had been in the process of changing locations since Wednesday morning.”

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Transfer after “positive dialogue”

In accordance with the EU law on “Integration of Roma and Sinti in Europe”, since 2013 it has also become necessary in Austria to provide at least one place of temporary residence. The Obad car park in Tulln is actually reserved for Roma and Sinti. The Camping Law in Lower Austria has so far provided no basis against Roma and Sinti camping and has not included any relevant penal provisions – only the Nature Conservation Law can lead to the imposition of an administrative penalty on them.

The liberal local council of Tulln said: “The camping ban decided by the Lower Austria state parliament, which entered into force on January 1, 2024, is beginning to have an impact.” City Councilman Hockner sees it differently. Since no forced eviction had ever occurred, the situation surrounding the change of camp site was discussed “without any friction and in good cooperation with the Roma and Sinti”.

Deposit for cleaning work

Based on the newly created legal system, Mayor Peter Eisenchenk (ÖVP) designated the above-mentioned parking lot where Roma and Sinti will be allowed to camp in the future. Even if it doesn't happen this week, you can still contact the municipal office before your arrival to find a suitable parking space. What was actually agreed upon before the new law was a deposit, which the Roma always paid. This can then be used by the community to clean up places.