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    Zakopane: Hoteliers seek to remove Ukrainian refugees

    Hoteliers in Poland’s southern mountain resort of Zakopane want to relocate Ukrainian refugees from their properties to make way for tourists, complaining they are not being supported by local authorities.

    The hoteliers, grouped in the Tatra Chamber of Commerce (TIG), told a press conference on Thursday they have accommodated over 300 refugees since the outbreak of war in Ukraine but have not all had their costs reimbursed.

    The resort’s mayor has argued that the town has taken in around 2,000 refugees and that the TIG members had taken in Ukrainians outside the local authority’s system and therefore were not entitled to financial support. 

    “Facilities that took in refugees earlier than the list started functioning cannot be included on it,” TIG President Agata Wojtowicz told journalists. “The system caused a huge number of people to be outside it, who were not included on the list. Businesspeople who provided accommodation were also not included on it,” she continued, adding that those hoteliers had received no money and needed to run their businesses in order to make a living. 

    With the May Day long weekend approaching, followed by the summer season, this is causing businesses problems, Wojtowicz explained. 

    She said 34 Ukrainians had recently been relocated within the framework of the local authority’s system and that further groups would follow. She also appealed to local people to continue donating food to a local collection point. 

    City Mayor Leszek Dorula argued that the hoteliers had not followed the correct procedures and had acted independently, despite his appeals from the start to register all refugees in the local authority’s system.

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