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Property and land for sale in Austria
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Nearly 2,800 asylum seekers have been sent home by Austria in the first three months of the year as the country steps up its programme to encourage people to leave.
The figures compare to last year, when a total of 8,365 failed asylum seekers were deported to their homelands.
In recent months Austria has been encouraging asylum seekers go home voluntarily by providing a stipend, which is seen as a cheaper option than housing people in detention centres. The move is part of the country’s plan to return 50,000 asylum seekers back home by 2019.
An asylum seeker who leaves the country voluntarily within three months receive €500, those who leave within six months get €250, and after six months, they get €50.
Of the latest figures released this week, 890 were forcibly deported and 1,896 agreed to leave voluntarily. Among those persuaded to return were 623 Iraqis, 278 Iranians and 273 Afghans.
Head of the Federal Office for Asylum (BFA) Wolfgang Taucher says that some asylum seekers are feeling homesick and no longer want to live in limbo and despair in refugee centres in Europe.
Taucher believes more people would be interested in returning but do not want to lose face by asking relatives back home to help pay for a return flight.
A new BFA project to encourage people to leave will be piloted in refugee centres, initially aimed at asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Nigeria and Morocco.
Working in partnership with NGOs Caritas and Human Rights Austria, the BFA plans to distribute information explaining that flights and medical care will be covered for those who want to return voluntarily.
Source: The local
In order to be able to vote in the referendum, expats need to hold a British passport and to have been resident in the UK within the last 15 years. Just under a quarter of our respondents fit those criteria – a total of 673 people. And of those who had the right to cast a vote, an overwhelming majority (86 percent) said they were planning to do so.
As to those who were not planning to vote, the main reason for abstaining (selected by 49 percent of the non-voters) was that it was too complicated to register.
Meanwhile, 11 percent felt that their vote did not matter, while seven percent didn’t think they would be affected by the outcome of the referendum and a further seven percent did not understand enough about the issue.
Of those who intended to vote in the referendum, only 75 percent had already registered – and of the remaining 25 percent, a majority (68 percent) did not know how to vote.
But how are expats planning to vote? Our survey revealed that, with over two months to go until the referendum date, 94 percent had already made up their minds, 67 percent were firmly in the ‘Remain’ camp, while 28 percent were planning to vote ‘Leave’.
James McGrory, Chief Campaign Spokesman of Britain Stronger In Europe, said: “This survey shows the overwhelming consensus among Brits living abroad for remaining in Europe. As a full EU member, British people can travel, live and work freely across Europe, and they’re entitled to free healthcare if something goes wrong.
“If we left, no-one can guarantee that would continue. The ‘Leave’ campaign’s plan for Britain – to pull the UK economy out of the single market altogether – could see every British expat’s automatic right to live abroad thrown into doubt.”
When contacted by The Local, a Vote Leave press officer said she was not in a position to comment on expat voters or the impact of the referendum on Brits living abroad. A spokesperson for the Better Off Out campaign, who did not wish to be named, said that their group hadn’t had any contact with British expats. “I can’t make a judgement on how expats would be affected by the referendum result – individuals can make their own minds up. We are concentrating on making a positive case to all voters and hope that those who wish to vote will recognize the benefits for the UK.”
However, some 58 percent of voters said they would be trying to persuade others to vote in a certain way – so don’t be surprised if you find the referendum an increasingly popular topic among your expat contacts. The most popular method for trying to sway their friends’ votes was in conversation (84 percent), while 46 percent said they would take to social media to spread the word.
In Austria, British citizen Kathryn Quinn, who has been living in Vienna for around six years, first moved to the continent for an Erasmus year that she describes as “invaluable experience”.
“I believe it would be a mistake for the UK to leave the EU and deny further generations the opportunity to study and work in EU countries without the need for visas and unnecessary bureaucracy,” she told The Local Austria.
Like many, however, she believes the EU needs to be overhauled to better suit the modern world. “I think the UK should vote to stay but I believe the EU needs to go back to the drawing board,” she says.
Source: The Local. Photo: ANDY RAIN/EPA
Foto: APA/Herbert P. Oczeret
The Austrian government has recently made a rapid overhaul of domestic asylum law. Basically the new law allows a cap on migrants and those accepted can stay for a maximum 3 year asylum period. If the country has an Public order problems in that time, then the people can be returned to their country of origin.
Some time in the planning is the so-called Asylum on time, which has now been incorporated into the Asylum Act.
Asylum on time, will to apply to all cases that have arrived since Nov 15 last year. Here the asylum status will be awarded only for three years. A change in the security situation of Austria, and refugee status is cancelled and the person concerned must leave the country.
Photo: BOA – Best of Austria
A food stall in Vienna has been forced to hire security to guard people’s snacks after thieves repeatedly stole sausages from customers’ plates when their backs were turned.
Customers at the Radatz food stall in Vienna’s Rochusmarkt were complaining that their snacks were being taken by opportunist thieves and beggars who hung around near the stall.
One customer described to Heute newspaper how they saw someone walk off with their entire meal after turning their back to the table for a second.
“I bought two sausages, put them on the table and quickly grabbed myself a napkin. When I came back the table was empty. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a man strolling away with my meal,” they said.
“The beggars are unfortunately getting bolder,” said the market stall holder. “A few customers turn around just for a second, then they are missing half their sandwich.”
Now the stall holders have turned to a private security guard to help deter thieves and protect their customer’s food, thought to be the first such snack security in Vienna.
The new guard – who is 54-year-old who goes by the first name Kellner – has got decades long experience of working for the security firm ÖWD.
“My presence is enough to deter the nuisances away,” he said.
Source: The local
Police at demonstration on the Austrian-Italian border on Saturday. JAN HETFLEISCH /EPA
Austria has long complained that Germany is reaping the benefit of its agreement with western Balkan nations to close borders all along what became the main refugee route in 2015 from Greece to Germany and points further north.
Numbers of refugees arriving in Germany have slowed to a trickle in recent weeks without Chancellor Angela Merkel having to renege on her promise not to close the Federal Republic’s borders.
Now authorities expect more people to begin arriving in Italy as weather improves in the Mediterranean, making boat crossings from north Africa safer.
That will put pressure on Austria as people seek to move north – and “Germany can’t just rely on our neighbouring countries keeping that under control,” Dobrindt said.
Dobrindt is a member of the Christian Social Union (CSU), Merkel’s conservative Bavarian allies who have long criticized her willingness to accept large numbers of refugees in Germany.
“Germany must send a signal to the world that there is no unconditional culture of welcome even here,” he said.
“It would be wrong to give refugees the false hope that they can still head towards us. People looking for a better life can’t simply cherry-pick Germany.”
Source: The Local
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