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Refugee house shelved after local resistance

Plans to introduce a controversial refugee home in the State of Salzburg have been put on hold after the owner of an inn withdrew his proposal.

The owner of the building where 40 refugees were going to be housed withdrew his plans because of resistance from the local community that he had not anticipated, according to the mayor of the Salzburg municipality Eben im Pongau, Herbert Farmer (ÖVP).

Residents and officials had been concerned about the number of refugees that would have come to the new home in a community of 2,300 people.

"I am pleased that a new debate has started and smaller groups will be sought," Farmer said. "For smaller groups, the integration works faster and better."

There is a time restriction for finding new premises as Salzburg has to provide housing for 120 further refugees by the end of the year in order to fulfil the province's refugee quota. The province has filled 84% of its quote so far.

An alternative solution has yet to be found, according to a spokeswoman for the provincial govenment. Several proposals for housing refugees would need to go through the normal procurement process as well as be approved by the neighbourhood.

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