Newly sworn-in Strache told Austria’s ORF broadcaster on Thursday it should be discussed whether “from a specific evening time onward, all [refugees] should have to be back in the barracks.”
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Strache, from the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), is pushing to house refugees in designated accommodation such as military barracks instead of in private flats, ORF reported.
“Order is needed, as long as there is an open asylum procedure,” the vice chancellor said.
The ideas were immediately opposed by civil society groups and opposition parties, and FPÖ politicians also sought to distance themselves from the proposal. “At the moment, this is not a topic in my department,” FPÖ Defence Minister Mario Kunasek said Friday, Austrian press agency APA said.
At a press conference Friday lunchtime, Strache said any controls would not be implemented immediately, in response to a question about the plans.
Vienna’s executive city councillor for integration, Jürgen Czernohorszky from the Social Democrats (SPÖ), on Thursday described the proposal as an attempt to move from “integrating” refugees to “detaining” them. He said it demonstrates the “unbelievable … incapacity” of the government, and called on the chancellor “to distance [himself] from the crazy ideas.”
Peter Hacker, managing director of the Vienna Social Welfare Fund, described the plans as “shocking.”
The FPÖ entered into coalition with Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) last month, following October’s general election.