Ombudsman cautions over Chomutov campaign against debtors

Czech ombudsman Otakar Motejl has expressed misgivings about fresh attempts by the northern town of Chomutov to reclaim debts. The town embarked on a fresh attempt to gather debts this week by sending in the bailiffs. Mr Motejl warned that the value of property seized should be in line with debts and pointed out that complaints indicate this has not always been the case. Some debtors have said that computers, televisions and hi-fi systems were seized because of debts of a few hundred crowns. Town mayor and Civic Democrat candidate in upcoming general elections, Ivana Řápková, already courted controversy earlier this year with her tough line to recover more than 240 million crowns in unpaid debts to the town hall. Initial measures included fines and intercepting benefit payments with some of the measures ruled illegal.

Author: Chris Johnstone