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IMMIGRATION

Austria to deport 50,000 asylum seekers by 2019

The Austrian government aims to deport 50,000 failed asylum seekers by the end of 2019.

Austria to deport 50,000 asylum seekers by 2019
Refugees arriving at Vienna's Westbahnhof station. File photo: Caritas

The plan was made public over the weekend, as various European countries attempt to curb immigration by adopting more restrictive policies, including Sweden‘s plan to expel up to 80,000 asylum seekers.

In January Austria’s government said that it would seek to cap the number of asylum seekers at 37,500 in 2016, compared to the 90,000 claims it received last year.

“We are already among the countries with the most expulsions,” Austria‘s Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner told the Austria Press Agency (APA). “But we will step up the pace and will increase the upward trend,” she added.

The plan includes financial incentives for people to leave Austria, as well as an expanded list of safe countries whose citizens are unlikely to be granted refugee status.

In the future asylum applications for people from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Georgia, Mongolia and Gambia will be decided within ten days. An asylum seeker who leaves the country voluntarily within three months will receive €500, and those who leave within six months will get €250.

Last year Austria deported 8,365 failed asylum seekers and under the new plan this number will increase to 12,500 a year.

Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said that the new deportation measures were  “important, but even more important is to end our open door policy and not let so many refugees into the country in future”.

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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