Referendum on temporary refugee camp held in Slovak city of Gabcikovo

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, August 3, 2015
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A referendum on setting up a temporary refugee camp is being held in Gabcikovo in Southern Slovakia on Sunday.

"People want to live in peace and security. The referendum was announced following a petition that was signed by 3,148 people," announced Mayor Ivan Fenes on Sunday. Gabcikovo has 4,300 voters.

The Slovak Government has recently made an agreement with Austria on placing 500 refugees seeking asylum in Austria on a temporary basis at the Gabcikovo facility, which in the past also served as a refugee camp. Slovakia will provide food and shelter to the migrants while their asylum procedures are being dealt with in Austria.

Many people in Gabcikovo appeared to be afraid that their security may be endangered by the presence of the asylum seekers. Fenes conceded that there were refugees in Gabcikovo in the past, but "times were different back then".

"Times are far more tumultuous now, especially abroad. Problems emerged when there were more than 800 refugees; we also registered pretty serious problems then. Even 100 refugees would be too many for a village with 5,000 inhabitants," said Fenes, adding that the locals were happy when the facility was shut down for refugees six years ago.

Nevertheless, the Slovak Interior Ministry cited Slovak Constitution, declaring that results of the local referendum won't by binding for the state. Slovak Police Corps president Tibor Gaspar has announced that the police will boost its presence in Gabcikovo, with additional ten officers set to be allocated to the local police station. Endit

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