Austrian government to end migrant standoff with provinces

AP News
Posted: Jul 31, 2015 9:31 AM
Austrian government to end migrant standoff with provinces

VIENNA (AP) — Austria's federal government plans to change the country's constitution in attempts to end a standoff with provincial leaders over finding housing for a massive influx of migrants.

The plan, announced Friday, would allow the federal government to provide shelter for migrants seeking asylum anywhere in Austria on and in property owned by the government.

The move follows repeated refusals by provincial leaders to agree to migrant quotas. Federal migrant centers are vastly overloaded, and Amnesty International plans to investigate the main facility south of Vienna amid reports that hundreds of the more than 4,000 people there are forced to sleep outside without shelter.

Any change in the constitution would need a two-thirds majority in Parliament. The government coalition hopes to achieve that through support from the opposition Greens.