This decision was taken by the Salzburg City Council on Wednesday with the votes of the SPÖ, Bürgerliste, NEOS, KPÖ Plus and List Salt – and against the votes of ÖVP and FPÖ, according to a broadcast by KPÖ PLUS. “This increases the pressure on the federal government again,” said councilor Kay-Michael Dankl (KPÖ PLUS) to SALZBURG24 on Wednesday afternoon.
126 free places in Kobenzl
“Help instead of looking the other way is the order of the day, not just before Christmas. I am pleased that in addition to the SPÖ, Bürgerliste, NEOS and KPÖ PLUS, the Conservative List SALZ also supports the resolution,” said councilor Dankl. Salzburg has space – the Ministry of the Interior has been paying 30,000 euros a month in rent for the Hotel Kobenzl am Gaisberg alone since 2018, although all 126 spaces are vacant for refugees. The contract runs until 2026.
Request to Preuner
Also die Platform for Human Rights Salzburg expresses itself in a broadcast on the decision. “The competence for taking in refugees still rests with the federal government. But ‘Safe Haven’ declare themselves ready to take in more people than are allocated by the distribution quotas. And they fight for the right to finally take in people themselves spokeswoman Christine Dürnfeld is quoted as saying. Dürnfeld expects ÖVP mayor Harald Preuner to implement this democratically made decision.
Cities should decide on admission
The “Safe Haven” alliance is an association of currently 267 cities and regions, mainly from Germany. Salzburg is the first provincial capital in Austria to declare itself a “Safe Harbor”. The alliance was brought into being because of the dramatic situation in the Mediterranean Sea and in the camps at the EU’s external borders. Of course, a pan-European solution is needed for this. Austria must give up its previous refusal and work constructively on a solution, said Dürnfeld.
“Since dying above is not happening at the moment, we are contributing to the solution of this humanitarian catastrophe that comes: from the countries, cities and municipalities.” ‘Salzburg has space’ collects declarations from parishes, associations and organizations that are ready to accommodate refugees in Salzburg or to look after them during their stay: when learning German, when visiting the doctor, when dealing with authorities, with psychotherapeutic care, etc. At the federal level, ‘Salzburg has space ‘together with the Courage initiative.
Salzburg organizations support action
Organizations that support “Salzburg has space” include the Salzburg Chamber of Labor or the Catholic Action Salzburg, the LINKE or the Diakonie refugee service. 18 parishes in the state have also agreed to help take in refugees. Salzburg personalities such as the actor Fritz Egger, the author Birgit Birnbacher, the cabaret artist and musician Fritz Messner and child and youth advocate Andrea Holz-Dahrenstaedt also support the initiative. In the state of Salzburg, the municipalities of Oberndorf, Saalfelden, Seekirchen, Hallein and, most recently, Hallwang have passed their own resolutions in which they admit to accepting refugees.