Roma family is banished to Amsterdam's 'scum' village
Published 06/09/2013 | 05:00
A ROMA family has become the first to be forcibly evicted by Dutch authorities and moved to a "scum village" constructed out of shipping containers on the outskirts of Amsterdam.
The Dimitrovs are the first nuisance neighbours to be moved forcibly to police-supervised accommodation as crowded Amsterdam steps up measures against anti-social behaviour.
Eberhard van der Laan, Amsterdam's mayor, admitted that the removal of the family was a draconian measure but insisted that bullying and violent behaviour had left him with no choice.
"The family has been causing problems for years and has a history of vandalism, noise nuisance and threatening behaviour," he said.
The eight members of the gypsy family have compared their container homes, numbers 48a and 48b, to a concentration camp and accused Amsterdam council of "pure racism".
Francois Lonis, an ex-boyfriend of one of the Dimitrov daughters who still lives with the family, criticised Mr van der Laan for commemorating the Holocaust while "discriminating" against Roma. "The mayor talks about Auschwitz but sends us to this place," he said.
"Where is my mother-in-law supposed to do the shopping. Our television does not fit inside."
The housing camps have been nicknamed "scum villages" because their establishment follows a 2011 proposal from Geert Wilders, the leader of a populist Dutch right-wing party, for special units to deal with persistent troublemakers.
"Repeat offenders should be forcibly removed from their neighbourhood and sent to a village for scum," he argued at the time. (© Daily Telegraph, London)