BRATISLAVA: Residents of the Slovakian village of Gab?íkovo voted in a referendum Sunday to reject the establishment of a temporary asylum camp to house 500 migrants bound for Austria under an agreement between Bratislava and Vienna.
About 97 percent of voters said yes to the question “Are you against the establishment of a temporary migrant camp in the building of the Slovak Technical University?” According to Teodor Bodo, the head of the referendum’s electoral commission, 2,600 of Gabcikovo’s 4,300 adult residents participated in the vote, with only 102 in favour of hosting migrants. Local authorities organised the consultation following a petition signed by 3,150 residents of Gabcikovo.
The interior ministry warned however that the outcome of the consultation was not binding.“The local referendum is binding on the municipality, but the interior ministry, as an organ of the state is not obliged to act according to its results,” said ministry spokeswoman Michaela Paulenova. Slovakia has agreed to house 500 migrants who have applied for asylum in Austria, at the end of a bilateral agreement concluded on July 21 in Vienna and designed to reduce pressure on the neighboring country’s capabilities for receiving migrants.