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REFUGEE CRISIS

IMMIGRATION

Styria braced for thousands of refugees

Over 2,600 migrants entered Austria from Slovenia over the weekend and thousands more are expected to arrive during Monday.

Styria braced for thousands of refugees
Refugees arriving from Slovenia. Photo: ORF

After Hungary closed its border with Serbia and Croatia, the influx of refugees into Austria has shifted from Nickelsdorf in Burgenland to Spielfeld and Bad Radkersburg in Styria. The refugees are being transferred from the border to temporary shelters in Graz and Klagenfurt.

Slovenian authorities said on Monday that they had refused to let in more than 1,000 refugees arriving from Croatia after a daily quota had been reached, stoking fears of a new human bottleneck on the western Balkan route.

Desperate refugees were forced to spend the night in freezing temperatures near rail tracks after police stopped them from walking across the border dividing the two EU states.

Austrian police spokesman Joachim Huber told the ORF broadcaster that several thousand people are expected to cross into Austria on Monday, and that they will be cared for by Red Cross teams.

Long lines have also formed on Croatia's border with Serbia. Several hundred people remained stuck there on Monday morning, after having spent the night in rain and cold weather, an AFP photographer said.

Slovenia stressed on Sunday it would remain firm in its decision to handle up to 2,500 migrants a day — half the amount demanded by Croatia — to help ease pressure on both its own and Austria's borders.

Interior ministry spokesman Bostjan Sefic said Austrian authorities had told Ljubljana they couldn't handle more than 1,500 new arrivals a day. Vienna however denied the claim.

“There are no restrictions in place,” interior ministry spokesman Karl-Heinz Grundböck told AFP on Monday.

 

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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