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Not enough space for refugees – Aargau government imposes emergency in the asylum system – News


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Due to the persistently high number of refugees, the Aargau asylum system is now in a state of emergency. The government will receive additional – sometimes very far-reaching – powers to create additional accommodation places. These are now mainly created underground.

  • The government writes that the situation in the Aargau asylum system is tense because of the persistently high number of refugees.
  • Because there is an acute lack of space in the cantonal accommodation, the government is now declaring a state of emergency in the asylum system, as the canton of Lucerne did in November.
  • With the enactment of the emergency ordinance, the government has been given far-reaching powers. Among other things, municipalities and private individuals can be obliged to create new places.
  • As a first step, the canton wants to put 560 places in underground accommodation in Aarau, Birmenstorf and Lenzburg into operation.

The numbers speak for themselves: last year, more than ten times more refugees were allocated to the canton of Aargau than in previous years. According to cantonal asylum statistics, over 7,700 new refugees came to Aargau in 2022, and almost 600 in 2021. According to official statistics, the almost 4,500 Ukrainian refugees account for the largest share of the increase. The accommodation of all refugees poses increasing problems in Aargau.

State of emergency brings far-reaching powers for government

The canton currently still has 650 reserve places, the Aargau government wrote on Friday. According to current planning, this will last until the end of February 2023. In recent months, places in the existing cantonal accommodation have already been increased and around 1,000 additional places have been created. But that is not enough and you have to act quickly and create additional places. This is only possible with an emergency decree, the government justifies the declaration of the state of emergency.

With the declaration of an emergency, the Aargau government council can now oblige municipalities to provide municipal protection systems for the accommodation of refugees. In a first step, three underground facilities in Aarau, Birmenstorf and Lenzburg will be put into operation. A total of 560 additional places can be created here, according to a statement.

restraint in extreme cases

In addition, the emergency also allows certain easing of building permit procedures so that suitable properties can be converted more quickly into refugee accommodation. In addition, with the emergency ordinance in Aargau, civil defense can now also be called upon to provide care in the accommodation.

In extreme cases, the government could confiscate further properties or oblige municipalities or private owners to make their properties available as refugee accommodation as a result of the declared state of emergency. However, the government emphasizes that it will be very cautious about this possibility. The emergency should also be lifted as soon as possible as soon as the situation eases.

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