Hamburg has become the first German city to pass a law that allows the government to seize empty commercial properties to house refugees.
The new law, which takes effect next week and will dissolve in March 2017, is a desperate solution to house the hundreds of refugees that arrive each day. The city has run out of out space for its 30,000 refugees and asylum seekers, and the law states that the government now has the right to take over commercial spaces and convert them into migrant housing temporarily when the refugee centers reach their limit.
The left-wing majority in Hamburg’s city council, consisting of the Social Democrats, the Green and Left parties, voted to pass the law with strong opposition from the minority. Katja Suding of the Free Democratic Party called it a “breach of property rights,” according to Deutsche Welle.
Commercial property owners that are subject to the new law will not have much to say in the matter, but will be compensated by the government. Other German cities are considering similar measures as they are reaching their limits. (RELATED: ‘Culture of Rape’ Taking Hold In Refugee Camps)
Germany has been the most welcoming country during the current crisis and the number of asylum seekers and refugees is estimated to reach 800,000 in 2015 alone. The bill for the hospitality will reach around $6.6 billion by the end of the year, according to the German government’s own estimation.
Chancellor Angela Merkel is an early front-runner for the Nobel Peace Prize for her open-border policy. Her popularity ratings in Germany, on the other hand, are down to 54 percent, the lowest in four years, according to Reuters.
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