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Minority shareholder to question sale of Lety pig farm

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Lety, South Bohemia, Aug 16 (CTK) – One of the minority shareholders of the AGPI firm that owns the pig farm in Lety, situated at the site of a former Nazi camp for the Roma, plans to bring a lawsuit questioning the plan to sell the farm to the Czech state, AGPI board deputy chairman Jan Cech has said.

The shareholder decided so at the AGPI’s general meeting in July that decided to accept the government’s offer to buy the farm, Cech told public Czech Television (CT) on Tuesday.

However, he said the stance of a minority shareholder would not threaten the preliminary agreement on a future contract. “This is just one shareholder who wants to gain some means and does not have decisive say,” Cech told CT.

The state plans to build a Roma Holocaust memorial at the site.

Both the government and the firm representatives say the final contract on the sale of the farm will be signed in September or October.

The AGPI firm’s general meeting gave consent to the transfer of the pig farm in Lety to the state on July 31. Some 20 shareholders took part in the meeting. A crushing majority of them voted for the transfer.

The firm says in its resolution that the talks about the situation of the pig farm at the site of a former Roma camp have lasted for 20 years and that the government declares a priority interest in its removal.

Neither the government nor the firm released the purchasing prise.

The construction of the Lety pig farm started under the communist regime in 1972. The current complex on a 7.1-hectare includes 13 halls with 13,000 pigs in total. The firm installed new technologies in a half of the halls in 2013-2015.

The firm would transfer the complex to the state without farm animals and employees. The contract is likely to be signed with the Museum of the Roma Culture.

Roma organisations have been striving for the pig farm’s relocation for years. The European Parliament (EP) as well as other international organisations have called on the Czech Republic repeatedly to remove the farm from the commemorative site.

Several Czech governments have dealt with the problem. The caretaker government of Josef Tosovsky was the first to address AGPI over the pig farm in 1998.

The current government of the Social Democrats (CSSD), ANO and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) has been negotiating with AGPI since January 2015. Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD) said his cabinet would like to complete the negotiations.

The labour camp in Lety was opened in 1940. A similar facility existed in Hodonin u Kunstatu, south Moravia. In 1942, both facilities turned into internment camps and in August of the same year, Romany camps were established there.

Until May 1943, 1308 Roma men, women and children were interned there, 327 of whom perished in the camp and over 500 were sent to the extermination camp in Auschwitz where most of them died. According to estimates, the Nazis murdered 90 percent of Czech Roma people.

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