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The recently planned accommodation of around 20 refugees has caused a lot of discussion in the past few days. Mainly because the initial information that some families will move into a small single-family house on the outskirts of Gurten in the direction of Obernberg turned out to be wrong. A maximum of 20 asylum seekers should find a new home there by mid-February. Next Tuesday, January 31st, there will be an information event for the citizens of Gurten in the parish hall.

Gurten’s Mayor Petra Mies (SPÖ) is only moderately enthusiastic about this situation. She also understands the fears, worries and reservations of the citizens of Gurten. “After I had a visit from the district manager last Thursday, I informed the immediate neighbors about the situation together with some local councillors. Of course, acceptance would have been much greater with families. We saw that with the refugees from Ukraine . Most of them found accommodation privately and there was a great wave of commitment and helpfulness from many Gurtners,” says Petra Mies (SP).

The house is rented out by a former Gurten resident who has been living in Lower Austria for a long time.

The operators are Elisabeth Frühlinger and Jafar Azizi, who already run a similar quarter in Bruckmühl. “The state has verbally assured me that there will be no mixture of nationalities. I assume that around 20 Syrian asylum seekers will move in there. At the moment the house is still being furnished,” said the mayor of Gurten.

In the meantime, the population has also been informed in a broadcast and made aware of the information event. “What bothers me a bit is that as a municipality you are practically faced with a fait accompli and that at fairly short notice. And of course you immediately get the information that we don’t have a veto right anyway. But I don’t want to whine. We have in received a lot of support from our community citizens in recent years and I hope that this trend will continue.

In order to avoid any problems arising in the first place, Petra Mies wants to work very closely with the operator, and she has already visited them personally. She also wants to get a personal impression of the accommodation through weekly visits and discussions. For the information evening, the mayor of Gurten will even interrupt her current spa stay and be available for questions. Of course, how well the integration succeeds also depends on the “newcomers”. “I will explain to them insistently that they have to accept the culture and our way of life and that they strongly recommend the rules of conduct, especially when dealing with women and children,” says Petra Mies. We will try to be able to provide support again with German courses and other services,” says Petra Mies.


Information event refugee quarters in Gurten on Tuesday, January 31, 7 p.m.
Gurten Parish Hall

  • Moderation: Magdalena Gassner-Alonge and Jan Zaschkoda (Reki Ried)
  • Elisabeth Frühlinger (operator of the refugee quarters, social and kindergarten teacher)
    Jafar Azizi (contact person on site)
  • Adelheid Schneilinger from St. Martin/I. (Association “Lebensraum Innviertel”): It provides the latest information about job opportunities for asylum seekers.
  • All Gurtner citizens who are willing to help (e.g. German courses, transport services…) are asked to register at the information evening or earlier at the municipal office.


Joseph Debt Sugar

Local editor Innviertel

Joseph Debt Sugar

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J. A. Allen

Author, blogger, freelance writer. Hater of spiders. Drinker of wine. Mother of hellions.

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