Austria’s prospective ruling parties agree on cutbacks for migrants

  • Tomáš Hošek
  • 9.11.2017 09:08

On Monday 3 November, the leader of Austria's People’s Party (ÖVP) Sebastian Kurz and his counterpart from the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), Heinz-Christian Strache, announced plans of the prospective coalition to reduce welfare benefits for registered migrants.

Both party leaders also agreed on a clear pro-European orientation of any future government, however, at the same time they emphasised the need for the EU to slim down and primarily focus on core issues such as trade and securing external borders. Three of Austria’s nine federation states have already cut benefits for new migrants, stating their overload by the migration influx as the main reason. The immigration laws have already been tightened by the preceding ruling coalition consisting of the ÖVP and social democrats. A new legislation came into force on Wednesday 1 November, under which a six week detention or financial penalties, ranging from €5,000 to €15,000, can be imposed on rejected asylum seekers refusing to leave the country or trying to re-enter it. Austria’s migration policy will thus probably not undergo any ground-breaking changes under the new government, even though Strache’s FPÖ intends to rule the Interior Ministry after the ongoing negotiations.

About author: Tomáš Hošek


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