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IMMIGRATION

Jewish group urges limit to refugee influx

The Jewish Community organisation (IKG) in Austria has called for a limit on the number of refugees entering the country, warning of the risk of growing anti-Semitism as many of the migrants are from Middle Eastern countries.

Jewish group urges limit to refugee influx
Syrian refugees arrive on Lesbos after traveling in an inflatable raft from Turkey. Photo: UNHCR

“The question is how many refugees can a country accept. We have reached the end of our capacities,” IKG president Oskar Deutsch told journalists in Vienna on Monday.

Some of these so-called refugees will have grown up thinking anti-Semitism is normal,” he said. “It would be terrible if this were to happen in Austria.”

Austria has been a key country on the migrant trail and expects a record 95,000 applications for asylum this year and up to 130,000 in 2016, according to latest government figures.

Deutsch echoed comments made by the Central Council of Jews in Germany, which said it expected problems with integrating the mainly Muslim newcomers.

 “Sooner or later we won't have a choice but to set an upper limit,” the council's president Josef Schuster told Die Welt daily.

“Many of the refugees are fleeing the terror of the Islamic State and want to live in peace and freedom, but at the same time they come from cultures where hatred of Jews and intolerance are an integral part.

“Don't just think about the Jews, think about the equality between men and women, or dealing with homosexuals,” he added.

German non-government group Pro Asyl criticised Schuster's comments, saying it was unfortunate the Jewish group was sharing the same position as the conservative Bavarian CSU party.

“It's disconcerting when the CSU and the Central Council of Jews are in fact demanding that we suspend the European Convention on Human Rights,” said Pro Asyl's head Günter Burkhardt.

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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