Karasek to discuss removal of Lety pig farm with owners

(PDM staff with CTK) 10 June - Government human rights commissioner Svatopluk Karasek will meet the owners of a pig farm situated on the site of a former Romany concentration camp in Lety today to discuss its removal, according to the website www.euro.cz.

The meeting will be the first between a government representative and the managers of AGPI, the company that owns the pig farm, after eight years, Karasek told CTK.
"We need a calm atmosphere for these sensitive talks. I am looking for a reconciliatory solution which would not be only a repetition of a situation eight years ago," Karasek said.

It does not help the matter that the case is being permanently watched by the public, he said, adding that he was afraid that the media interest and the consistent fuelling of the problem could lead to the increasing of the costs of a possible removal of the pig farm.

The removal has been demanded by representatives of Romany organisations for a long time. They point out that the location of the pig farm on the site of the former camp in which 326 people died and 600 were transported to Auschwitz is undignified and insulting to the memory of the victims.

In 2000, a memorial with the names of Lety victims was unveiled at the cemetery in nearby Mirovice.

AGPI management made it clear previously that it is willing to remove the farm to another site which will be fully prepared for operation.

"We are not expecting any concrete results from the meeting. It is the first meeting and I do not want to anticipate its outcome," AGPI director Jan Cech told CTK.
According to certain estimates, the removal could cost the state CZK 1 billion.
Karasek told CTK today that "such an enormous sum is absolutely unacceptable to the government." He said that he would therefore try to find such a solution that would be feasible for all sides.

The company management has not yet named any sum.

Prime Minister Jiri Paroubek said previously that he would prefer to spend money on the education of Romanies rather than to build a memorial to Romany victims of Nazism.

He added, however, that the government was prepared to discuss the establishment of a dignified memorial with Romany organisations.

(USD 1=CZK 24.405)