Clashes Erupt in Bulgarian Stara Zagora over Illegal Houses Demolition
Clashes broke out between the Gendarmerie and the inhabitants of the Roma neighborhood in Bulgaria's city of Stara Zagora, Monday morning.
A total of 55 illegally built houses are being demolished in Lozenets district. By order of the Mayor Zhivko Todorov, their forced removal began at 7:30 am Monday, Nova TV reports.
The owners of the buildings have been notified within the legal deadlines with municipal acts and orders. Still, the tension has escalated leading to clashes between the locals and the Gendarmerie.
Two people were arrested for throwing stones and tiles from the roof of a house. People are adamant that they will not allow the demolition of any of the houses, some even threaten to commit suicide.
The campaign has already been postponed once in May due to failure of police to provide reliable security and order during the demolition of houses. Nearly 1,000 employees of the Gendarmerie are in place in the Roma neighborhood. Several fire trucks and ambulances are on site as well.
The locals have threatened to defend their rights in court, including the European Court of Human Rights. The Mayor Zhivko Todorov has explained that there is no way to legalize any of the 55 buildings, because they are located on the territory of the Borova Gora Park, Bulgarian National Radio informs.
According to the Mayor, only one woman had sought help from the municipality. "We issued an order for her to be accommodated in public housing, however she has rejected our offer. None of the residents indicated that they wants to buy the right to build. If they want to be accommodated somewhere, they must submit the necessary papers, "said Todorov.
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