• Austria's news in English

Freedom Party demands special asylum session

The Local · 28 Oct 2014, 12:02

Published: 28 Oct 2014 12:02 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The party introduced the topic at a parliamentary plenary last week, and now seeks to broaden the debate, making an "urgent request" for participation by Austria's Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner (ÖVP). 

Under parliamentary rules, the Freedom Party is entitled to convene two special sessions per year. The session is to be held under the rubric "Safety instead of Islamization and Asylum Chaos."

The meeting will likely take place within the next eight working days, according to a report in the news daily Heute.

FPÖ Party leader Heinz-Christian Strache warned in a plenary meeting last Wednesday that "the threat from Islamism was more evident than ever."

He added that the danger came not just from the terrorist militia Isis in the Middle East, but also from "Isis terrorists disguised as refugees travelling to Austria", and said that "asylum seekers from Austria travel to the crisis region and fight there." 

He called for strict limits on the acceptance of refugees, attracting sharp criticism from other parties.
The Federal Government counter-terrorism measures are, according to Strache, not sufficient.
The fact that "a handful of putative Isis-fighters sit in custody, will not deter others," he said.
"Calming slogans" were out of place. "It is therefore not enough to stop suspected terrorist fighters from leaving, but we must do everything possible to prevent them from entering the country." 
Strache also stressed that Austria had done "great" work in the past with regard to helping refugees. But he said that it wasn't right that Austria and Europe receive "all refugees".  "We are able to solve the problems only in the problem's region." 
For Austria, Strache wants to "set a reasonable limit on how many asylum seekers Austria can accommodate" 
Interior Minister Mikl-Leitner agreed that the situation in Syria was dramatic - and also that the threats "to our borders do not stop". The fight against terrorism must therefore "be completely a priority for us," she said.
She pointed out that the government had already taken steps - among others allocating more staff to domestic protection - and even more will be done.  A focus on prevention, to stop young people becoming radicalized and joining the jihad, was a "very important answer". 
Story continues below…
Mikl-Leitner also stressed that Austria has a responsibility towards refugees, "namely to allow those who are fleeing from jihadism to come here."
It was a "very big challenge" that currently the number of refugees from the Syrian crisis region continues to rise, "not only for Austria, but also for Europe", she said.
Therefore, she urged that there should be a mandatory quota for all EU member states to ensure that all states "accept their fair share of war refugees". 

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Austrian far-right leader brands Merkel 'dangerous'
Heinz-Christian Strache. Photo: Facebook/Personal

The head of Austria's far-right Freedom Party has branded Angela Merkel Europe's most dangerous politician.

Austria 'horror clown' attacks leave several injured
Clown performers are not happy about the negative media stories. Photo: Graeme Maclean/Flickr

Several people have been injured in attacks by masked assailants dressed as 'creepy clowns' in the lead-up to Halloween.

Brunnenmarkt murder 'could have been prevented'
Locals remember the murdered woman. Photo: Wien Caritas

The random murder of a woman in Vienna could have been prevented if the homeless and mentally disturbed man who killed her had been admitted to a psychiatric institution.

Iraqi family ask ECJ to help them stay in Austria
Kumberg locals hold a vigil for the family. Photo: ORF

A group of people from Kumberg in Styria have asked the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for help in trying to stop the deportation of an Iraqi family.

The Local List
Five things you need to know about winter tyres
Photo: carmagazine.co.uk

It’s that time of year when temperatures start to plunge and drivers are advised to switch to winter tyres to avoid being caught out by snow and ice on the roads.

Radioactive uranium rocks on display in Austrian schools
Uraninite crystals. Photo: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com/Wikimedia

Education officials have carried out urgent checks in schools across the country after one of the stones on display in a classroom turned out to be radioactive.

Austrian churches slam far-right's 'God' slogan
Campaign poster for Norbert Hofer. Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Austrian church officials have denounced far-right presidential candidate Norbert Hofer for "instrumentalising" God in a new slogan.

'Scary clown' pushes 14-year-old off his bike in Salzburg
Generic photo: Graeme Maclean/Flickr

A 14-year-old boy in Salzburg has been injured after being pushed off his bike by an individual dressed as a scary clown.

Police puzzled by random stabbing of teenager in Vienna
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A 15-year-old boy who was stabbed near his home in the Vienna district of Liesing on Friday morning by a complete stranger has spoken to the police.

'Sensational' 300-year-old Madonna found in Burgenland
The head of the statue was found beside the body. Photo: ORF

A 300-year-old statue of the Virgin Mary has been found hidden in a chapel next to a Catholic church in Loretto, Burgenland.

12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available