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October 20, 2021

Chereches: Roma poisoned by self-defence sprays

The Baia Mare situation that has grown into an international scandal, where a group of Roma were moved to decommissioned facilities of a former chemical plant continues. City Mayor Catalin Chereches has told Radio France International (RFI) that the moving of the Roma had been absolutely legal, that the building had not housed the actual chemical plant, but the administration offices that had been properly cleaned before and that the people were poisoned by some ‘pseudo-leaders’ of the community using self-defence sprays, Mediafax reports. The American Embassy in Bucharest voices its concern about the move of the Roma families. The National Council against Discrimination is also looking into the situation, trying to determine whether it falls under its jurisdiction or it is a criminal matter. Chereches claims he actually pursues the social integration of the Roma community. The mayor says that, in their former homes, the residents did not have decent living conditions: no water, sewerage or electricity, therefore he decided to move them in order to integrate them in the community. In addition, Chereches claims the moving of the Roma to the Cuprom building was ‘absolutely legal’. ‘The people had seen the place where we were going to move them. It is not a chemical plant. Those are the administration buildings of the former copper plant. All those spaces had been cleaned, we have all the permits, including from the Health Department, all the authorisations required to use the space as social homes. In addition, none of the families moving there wants to leave’, Catalin Chereches also said. Catalin Chereches also added that he would not be bullied and that he would go ‘all the way’ with the integration of the Roma. The Maramures County Police have opened an investigation into an alleged involuntary bodily harm, as 13 children dwelling a building of social homes set up on the premises of Cuprom Baia Mare were taken to hospital poisoned with an unknown substance last week.

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