A turmoil in Styria

Roma caravans cause a stir

09.07.2024 14:45

In Dobl-Zwaring (Styria), representatives of the migrant Roma and Sinti are causing a stir. They have taken up residence on the grounds of a model flying club. There was damage and threats. Lieboch has also been affected several times this year. But the municipalities have no means of dealing with them.

Suddenly they were there - without notice and, according to the owner, without permission, a group of Roma and Sinti settled on a site in Dobl-Zwaring on Monday that has been used by a model flying club for years: "We've made a nice place for ourselves, we've also got young people interested in technology and crafts here," says a spokesperson for the club. But that's all over for now. "It's chaos, there's been damage and threats," he reports. The latter was also experienced by media representatives and politicians who visited the site on Tuesday.

Roma caravan in Dobl-Zwaring (Bild: zVg.)
Roma caravan in Dobl-Zwaring

Municipality has "no power"
"As a municipality, we have no power", regrets Mayor Waltraud Walch. Even the police can only intervene if there are criminal incidents. However, the mere presence of Roma and Sinti on private property is "only" relevant under civil law. As a property owner, you can bring an action for disturbance of property - but by the time this comes into effect, the migrants have usually already left.

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As a municipality, we have no means of dealing with this. The issue has to be resolved by a higher authority.

Waltraud Walch, Bürgermeisterin Dobl-Zwaring

Stefan Helmreich, Mayor of Lieboch, can also tell you a thing or two about the problem: "We've had groups of Roma and Sinti here many times this year - mostly around the diesel cinema, but once also at the local sports ground. They simply take water from the hydrants and electricity from some sockets," he reports. Three truckloads of garbage were left behind: "We had to dispose of it at the public's expense," he says, speaking of a great injustice. "The rules that apply to every Austrian must also apply to this ethnic group."

In Dobl-Zwaring, the Model Flying Club was able to reach an agreement with the Roma and Sinti: "They want to move on Friday and have promised to remove the damage."

However, as "visits" are also to be expected in the future, the mayors would like more support from the federal and state governments: "Either we have to provide them with their own transit areas on their routes, or we need more power to take action against the disregard for our rule of law!"

This article has been automatically translated,
read the original article here.

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