Austria considers “one euro jobs” for refugees

Austria considers
Foreign Minister Kurz speaks to people living in a camp in North Iraq. Photo: Facebook/Sebastian Kurz.
Austria’s foreign minister calls on his party's coalition partners to support his integration proposals, including "one euro jobs" for refugees and migrants.

The measured announced by Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz this week include low paid mandatory community jobs for refugees who lack qualifications, commonly referred to the ‘one euro jobs’.

These would require recognised refugees and migrants to work between 15 and 30 hours a week, earning €1 an hour, similar to a scheme already in place in Germany for asylum seekers.

Kurz has suggested that were refugees to turn down this work, they could see a reduction in the financial support they receive from government, Der Standard reported

He told journalists that although it was reported last year that many refugees are highly-skilled, many are not. “Just among those from Afghanistan, there are many that are illiterate,” he said.

The Minister has also proposed sanctions for refugees who do not attend German or ‘value’ courses, and has also said a ban on full face veils is “part of considerations”.

He also proposed that new arrivals would have to be in Austria for five years before they could receive the full amount of financial social support provided by the government.

Now Kurz, from the conservative ÖVP, has said it makes sense for the Social Democrat coalition partners (SPÖ)to back his plans.

It comes after SPÖ politicians in Styria Michael Schickhofer and Doris Kampus accepted the Integration plan in principal but argued the one euro jobs scheme is “unacceptable” and an “attack on the Austrian employment market.”