Wednesday, September 16, 2009

squatters doing good in Prague

Speculators, many of them foreign-based, prefer to leave the building unoccupied and decaying rather than budge from their hoped for resale price or redevelopment plans even if these prove to be unrealistic.
Radio CZsuggests that squatters have achieved one positive thing: they have drawn attention to the city's epidemic of vacant structures. According to the report, squatter organizations now have a short list of 80 buildings in the Czech capital that are ripe for occupation.

Michael Zachaƙ, director of the Czech National Institute for the Preservation and Conservation of Monuments, tells the station that the government is powerless to force owners into taking far-reaching or rapid action. "The law recognises, for example, the possibility of dispossession but the moment the owner carries out even some partial reconstruction, the law regards this as a sign of intent and good will."

So owners get to keep houses vacant. And the police keep arresting squatters. Doesn't seem fair, somehow.

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