04:12 GMT +321 November 2019
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    Refugees are seen in their temporary housing in a former hardware store in Hamburg, northern Germany.

    Hamburg to Exchange Refugee Camp's Furniture Worth €500,000

    © AFP 2019 / Daniel Bockwoldt
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    Hamburg authorities have changed the purpose of refugee containers located in the northwest of the city. As a result, the city will have to buy new beds, tables and mattresses which correspond to new requirements, German newspaper Hamburger Abendblatt reported.

    While the containers were originally designed to serve as "central reception centers" for refugees, the city's authorities have decided to use them as "follow-up camps". The first serve as an emergency accommodation for newcomers and are designed for a maximum stay of six months, while the latter are viewed as permanent housing with a maximum possible stay of up to three years.

    As the status of the accommodation has been changed, the furniture, worth €500,000, was pre-ordered, and is now to be replaced due to its incompliance with new standards. At first, it might seem that the difference between emergency shelter and proper permanent housing could, indeed, be big. But in fact, it is more about German bureaucracy, rather than significant changes in the interior of the containers.

    According to the new standards, the 90-centimeter-wide and 1.90 meter-long beds are to be replaced by one-meter-wide and 2-meter-long beds (a difference of 10 cm!). Similar changes concern other "wrong items" including, mattresses, wardrobes and chairs.

    All in all, 960 beds, 1,920 mattresses, 480 multi-purpose closets and 1,920 chairs are affected by the "furniture regulations". Some of them might be used in other reception centers, while others are likely to be stored in warehouses.

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    camps, refugee crisis, spending, Germany, Hamburg
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