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New asylum integration plan announced

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Sebastian Kurz announcing the plan together with Professor Heinz FaƟmann. Photo: Austrian Foreign Ministry
11:25 CET+01:00
Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz has announced a new integration plan for asylum seekers, in which German-language learning is rewarded and radicalism is punished.
There are 50 points in the new plan, which is intended to help asylum seekers become part of the community, and to be better prepared for joining the labour market.
 
As well as taking language lessons, migrants wishing to stay in Austria will have to undergo at least eight hours of compulsory training in basic European values.
 
If they refuse to participate in the language and values courses they will face penalties, including cuts of up to 50 percent of the social security benefits they receive during the integration period.
 
There will also be penalties for immigrants who are found to have engaged in radical behaviour, including increased community service.
 
According to Austrian broadcaster ORF, some of the key points of the plan include:
  • Values. People receiving asylum are required to attend a course with an emphasis on values and orientation. On the curriculum: democracy, human rights, manners, values orientation.
  • Racism. Asylum applicants with racist or radicalized ideas must attend special de-radicalization workshops.
  • Kindergarten. The second year of kindergarten is compulsory. Kindergartens must share the constitutionally enshrined values. This is especially true for Islamic kindergartens, of which there are around 150 in Vienna. Kindergarten teachers must have good German language skills and recognised qualifications.
  • School. Civic education should be a school subject.
  • Religion. Promotion of a "European-style" Islam.

The complete plan is available to read in German.

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