Idea to host refugees in tents an ‘insult’

Idea to host refugees in tents an 'insult'
Günther Kräuter. Photo: APA/HERBERT PFARRHOFER
Ombudsman Günther Kräuter (Social Democrats/SPÖ) has rejected recent proposals made by Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner (People's Party/ÖVP) that asylum seekers could be hosted in tents if necessary.

"This would be an insult to good taste", Kräuter told the Austrian Press Agency.

It would have to be an absolute "emergency solution" to provide accommodation in military barracks, he said. This would only be a temporary measure, and not one that would be suitable for children or victims of torture, he added.

Kräuter, who is responsible within the ombudsman's office for basic social services, emphasised that military barracks would have to be examined first before they could be used to host refugees.

If there was no examination this would breach European and Austrian law, he added.

Furthermore he criticised that there are no Austria-wide standards for basic social services for asylum seekers.

A working group on that issue has been set-up in the interior ministry after appalling shortcomings in Burgenland province were documented, but nothing more has happened since then.

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