Mikl-Leitner gives states asylum ultimatum

Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner (ÖVP) has given an ultimatum to the governors of the five Austrian states that have failed to take in their quota of asylum seekers.

Mikl-Leitner gives states asylum ultimatum
Traiskirchen asylum seekers centre. Photo: APA/HANS KLAUS TECHT

"If the situation does not improve by Friday, with the states providing the agreed accommodation, we will look for private accommodation there", she told the newspaper Kurier.

There are currently around 1,362 asylum seekers living in the Lower Austrian town of Traiskirchen, which was originally only supposed to hold around 480.

In some of the most difficult phases, it has housed up to 1,500 inhabitants.

Mikl-Leitner has said she will provide accommodation in military barracks, as and when required. She proposed that asylum seekers should submit their initial application in the provinces instead of sending them to main reception centers run by the federal government.

This would help to relieve the unacceptable levels of overcrowding in the main reception centres in Traiskirchen, and Thalham in Upper Austria.

Those two centres should only be for asylum cases where Austria was not responsible, according to the Dublin criteria, Mikl-Leitner said.

According to the so-called Dublin Regulation governing the treatment of refugees, potential asylum seekers must be sent back to the EU country in which they first arrived. 

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Diversity and jobs: How migrants contribute to Vienna’s economy

International business owners in Vienna bring in billions of euros in revenue and taxes each year, according to a recent survey by the Chamber of Commerce.

Diversity and jobs: How migrants contribute to Vienna's economy

New figures show that Vienna’s international entrepreneurs do more than simply boost diversity in Austria’s capital city – they also significantly contribute to the local economy.

The Wirtschaftskammer (Chamber of Commerce) has revealed that business owners in Vienna with a migration background generate € 8.3 billion in revenue and create around 45,500 jobs.

Plus, these companies pay around € 3.7 billion every year in taxes and duties, reports ORF.

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Walter Ruck, President of the Vienna Chamber of Commerce, said: “Companies with a migrant background not only enrich the diversity of the corporate landscape in Vienna, they are also an economic factor.”

Ruck added that more than 200 international companies move to the capital each year and said the diversity is helping Vienna to financially recover from the pandemic. 

The Chamber of Commerce considers a business owner to have a migration background if they were not born in Austria and/or they have a non-Austrian nationality.

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According to ORF, there are 34,000 entrepreneurs in Vienna with a migration background and 7,400 of those business owners have Austrian citizenship.

Additionally, 4,500 business owners have Slovakian nationality, 3,800 are from Romania and 2,600 have German citizenship.

The most popular business sector for people in Vienna with a migration background is retail, followed by real estate and technical services.