German city to seize empty commercial space to house refugees

2015-10-02 20:11
Migrant with child smiles as he is welcomed with other migrants with locals after their arrival at the railway station of Hamburg - Harburg, northern Germany. (Daniel Reinhardt, AFP)

Migrant with child smiles as he is welcomed with other migrants with locals after their arrival at the railway station of Hamburg - Harburg, northern Germany. (Daniel Reinhardt, AFP)

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Berlin - The northern German city of Hamburg has passed a law allowing it to requisition empty commercial properties to house asylum seekers, authorities said on Friday.

"The parliament of the city of Hamburg adopted the law yesterday," said city spokesperson Ulfert Kaphengst.

Private apartments would not be affected.

Like the rest of the country, Germany's second city Hamburg has been struggling to find lodgings for the record influx of migrants.

As favoured destination for many of those arriving in Europe, Germany is expecting up to a million migrants this year.

Some local authorities have been forced to put up tent cities to host the newcomers, but with winter swiftly arriving, they are urgently seeking alternative solutions to deal with the influx.

Berlin has already adopted such a measure allowing the forced seizure of commercial buildings.

In Hamburg, the opposition have condemned the initiative, branding it a violation of property rights.

Read more on:    germany  |  migrants  |  refugees

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