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IMMIGRATION

Austria to get tough on people smugglers

New figures from the Federal Criminal Police Office show that the number of people smugglers arrested this year has risen by 25 percent compared to last year. Between January and the end of June almost 350 suspected smugglers were charged. A total of 500 were charged during 2014.

Austria to get tough on people smugglers
42 people were hidden inside this van. Photo: LPD NÖ

The interior and justice ministries have pledged to step up the fight against people smuggling, and have presented a “five point plan”. This includes an increase in the number of specialized investigative teams, stricter punishments for smugglers, more specialized prosecutors and increased enforcement along Austria’s borders.

Both Austrian and Hungarian officials will be involved in border checks, and controls are already taking place on trains leaving Budapest for Austria, Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner told Ö1 radio.

She added that she is talking to her Hungarian counterpart about how to facilitate a complete control of all incoming trains from Hungary, and how to monitor Hungarian railway stations.

The Ministry of Justice is planning to establish a team of specialized public prosecutors to deal with people smuggling cases.

ECONOMY

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.

READ MORE: Austrian presidential elections: Why 1.4 million people can’t vote

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.

READ ALSO: What are the rules on working overtime in Austria?

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.

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