The idyllic town of Baia Mare in Romania hit the headlines in the June of 2011 when the mayor had an
apartment block in Horea Street where Gypsies live separated off from the town by a two metre wall.
Then one year later, Romany people began to be evicted from Craica, an illegally built slum on the
edge of the town.
The one hundred families kicked out so far have been compelled to move either to the premises of
a chemical plant recently closed because of environmental pollution (Cuprom), or to the apartment
block enclosed by the wall. Their evacuated shacks have been bulldozed to the ground.
The remaining residents of Craica have a choice: either lead pollution, or rats in the Horea Street
apartment block. They fear for their squalid homes, in danger of demolition, or for their children,
exposed to everyday violence in the new ghettos.
The mayor has made it clear: eradication of the slums of Craica is just the first step. The goal is to get
rid of these families, so in the spring of 2013 they will also be evicted from the town.
The legal services protest in vain: Catalin Chereches, the most popular local politician in the country,
was re-elected by the residents of the town with a sweeping majority in the June of 2012.
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