Army told to make room for 4,000 asylum seekers

The army needs to free up space to accommodate 2,000 asylum seekers within the next six months and another 2,000 by the end of 2013, the cabinet has decided.

This content was published on March 2, 2012 - 20:28 and agencies

Three cantonal army quarters each need to make 200 places available “as quickly as possible”, said the Federal Justice Office spokesman Guido Balmer. It will be up to the defence ministry to choose the sites.

By the end of 2013 the ministry will have to make provisions for 2,000 places that should be available for at least three years.

The cabinet noted that the accommodation spaces should be available year-round. However army training requirements should not be affected.

The defence and justice ministry will sign an accord on the move and the Federal Migration Office will be working together with the defence ministry on the issue.

In January asylum requests reached their highest level since 2002, with 2,653 applications.

On Monday the defence ministry said 5,000 beds could be freed up for the Migration Office, although such facilities were normally set aside for short-term requirements for army personnel.

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