Refugee Crisis

‘Majority’ fear effects of refugee crisis

'Majority' fear effects of refugee crisis
Refugees at Vienna's Westbahnhof station. Photo: Kim Traill
Concern about the impact of the refugee crisis on Austria is growing, with 60 percent of people saying that the arrival of thousands of refugees and migrants is a cause for fear and worry, according to a new survey.

35 percent of respondents to a survey by Unique Research said they thought the government should not allow any more refugees or migrants into Austria, and 21 percent said they believed Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz offers the best solutions for dealing with the crisis.

The survey, commissioned by the Heute tabloid, showed that only eight percent of those asked thought the government should allow more refugees and migrants in.

Sixteen percent were in favour of Freedom Party leader Heinz Christian Strache’s solutions to the crisis, which include constructing border fences anywhere where refugees and illegal migrants are trying to enter Austria. Chancellor Werner Faymann (SPÖ), who has rejected the idea of fences, only got a seven percent approval. 34 percent of respondents said they didn’t trust any of the politicians to come up with a good solution.

Strache has been vocal in his criticism of the government’s approach to the crisis – saying that Austria had become “almost a Banana republic”, with the government providing a “catering service” for passing illegal migrants.

84 percent of those questioned felt that the most appropriate action would be to have more controls on the EU's external borders. 77 percent were in favour of a rapid repatriation process for refugees.

36 percent of survey respondents felt that the number of people claiming asylum in Austria would have a negative impact on the labour market, with 30 percent saying that state finances would be dealt a blow.