Towns in Austria which have not accepted migrants may be forced to do so under draft legislation which has been agreed by the two ruling parties and opposition Greens yesterday. The new rules could come into force in October, at which point the Federal Government will be able to control the treatment of refugees rather than local state and town politicians.
The ruling centre-left Social Democratic Party alongside their junior coalition partners, the centre-right People’s Party, have been struggling to respond to the high numbers of migrants claiming asylum in Austria this year.
As Breitbart London previously reported, the Federal Interior Ministry said in July it had received more asylum applications per capita than any other European country the previous month. In the first five months of 2015 it received 20,620 applications, an increase of 183 per cent.
It has now been confirmed that over 28,000 asylum claims were filed by migrants in Austria in the first six months of 2015, more than the country received in the whole of 2014. In total this year more than 80,000 asylum applications are expected – previously estimated to be 70,000 – representing a threefold increase on the number received in 2014.
The inevitable upshot of the sheer numbers involved means local resistance has been encountered by central government and the proposed legislation is intended to address that. EurActiv reports that under the draft law towns will be made to accept refugees numbering up to 1.5 per cent of the local population, to be housed on federally-designated land if their state does not fulfil agreed quotas.
Federal officials say the controversial measure is intended to ensure a more equitable distribution of refugees across Austria.
In order to pass the law the coalition government will need to rely on the opposition Greens to hit the required two-thirds parliamentary majority. Other parties are vocal in their opposition to the move.