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150 refugees to arrive in Klosterneuburg

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150 refugees to arrive in Klosterneuburg
The Magdeburg barracks. Photo: APA/NEUBAUER
11:05 CET+01:00
The small town of Klosterneuburg in Lower Austria is preparing to receive between 100 and 150 refugees, mainly from Syria.

They will be housed in the Magdeburg barracks for six months and mayor Stefan Schmuckenschlager (ÖVP) has said he is taking local residents’ concerns about safety seriously.

“I’m prepared to employ extra security if it’s considered necessary for residents and local businesses,” he said.

The first refugees are expected to start arriving in the next few days and Schmuckenschlager anticipates that they will all be settled into their accommodation before Christmas. There is space for around 30 families, or a maximum 150 people. 

Klosterneuburg local Sabine Gösker has founded a Facebook group called Klosterneuburg hilft and is calling on others who wish to volunteer their time and help to join.

In particular she is looking for donations of books - particularly German language textbooks as well as any books in Aramaic, Arabic, Turkish or Kurdish.

She said that she set up the group in response to a “vocal and negative” backlash against the idea of a refugee centre in Klosterneuburg. She said that the refugees will need locals’ help as they will be struggling to live with a lack of privacy, will be totally dependent on the kindness of strangers, and will have no meaningful employment.

The mayor’s office is also requesting those who wish to volunteer to provide their names and contact details, and an idea of what they could contribute.

Expensive real estate

Klosterneuburg boasts some of Lower Austria's most expensive and exclusive apartments. It is reported that the city’s most expensive property is listed at €1,995,800 with around 525 square meters.
 
Sources say that many Russian millionaires are now looking to Klosterneuburg for their real estate investments. Even the FPÖ leader Heinz-Christian Strache rents part of a villa there. 
 
It is within commuting distance of Vienna and has a population of 25,918. It is most famous for its 12th century monastery, and the excellent wines grown in the region's vineyards.
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