A number of Roma families with children have been forced by the municipality in Anderlecht to leave a private caravan site. The municipality claims that the site is polluted. The owner, an Armenian foundation, was contacted by the municipality not to extend its agreement to let them stay on its property. In the past the police used to come to the site and tell the Roma to move but without any official order or notice.
The eviction was supposed to take place yesterday by order of the mayor but the Roma left quitely the evening before and moved to another place in the municipality from which they might be evicted again.
A few days earlier, part of the camp where Roma from Romania had been staying temporarily, had been set on fire. Nobody was hurt but the perpetrators remain unknown.
The number of families at the site varied between 15 and 20. The evicted Roma are Belgian citizens but many of them have no identity cards because they lack a permanent adress and their children do not attend regular school in the municipality.
There is a no legal caravan site with access to water and electricity for them in Anderlecht and hardly in any other municipality in Brussels.
According to the Brussels-based European Roma Grassroots Organisations Network (ERGO), the possibility of creating a Travelers site in Brussels with allocated land and facilities has been discussed for years. There is even a special fund from the Brussels Region that can be used for this.
The Brussels Times