Trying to get a band of gypsies to leave my property isn’t exactly a problem of mine, but if it was, I now know exactly what to do: blast Dire Straits out of some speakers.
Fed up with a group of Roma who had set up camp near Brussels and were unwilling to vacate, a Belgian mayor named Gino Debroux got creative and used a DJ to smoke ‘em out with some tunes.
The Roma had arrived on Sunday in Landen, some 50 km (30 miles) east of the Belgian capital of Brussels. They agreed with a landowner to park 14 caravans there until Tuesday, according to Landen mayor Gino Debroux.
“Since then, they’ve said they won’t leave and they’re there with 30 caravans,” Debroux told Reuters by telephone. “This is an industrial site and is not designed for camping.”
Debroux said the group’s refusal to leave had led him to hire a DJ to play music from Wednesday morning, starting around 9 a.m.
“This is a way of putting pressure on them. It was very difficult to negotiate with the gypsy king, as he called himself,” Debroux said. “It’s a non-violent method to ask them to come to an agreement.”
Debroux said the music had been limited to a maximum 95 decibels, equivalent to the sound of a pneumatic drill from 50 feet (15 meters) away.
Local media said that the DJ kicked off his set with Dire Straits’ “Sultans of Swing”. (Via Reuters)
Mission accomplished. After enjoying a dance or two — I mean, why not, right? — the group of gypsies finally left the premises that same afternoon. If only all mayors were as savvy.