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Austria: New government to be tough on migrants

The right-wing government will introduce new measures that will greatly reduce benefits for migrants and refugees. Asylum seekers will receive less than half of what they currently receive from the government.

The new Austrian government, which was sworn in on Monday (18 December), has already announced a program that will cut back on benefits for asylum seekers in the country.

Heinz-Christian Strache, head of Austria’s right-wing Freedom Party (FPÖ) and incoming Vice-Chancellor, said in a Facebook post on Sunday evening that “it will no longer happen for migrants who have never worked here a single day or paid anything into the social system to get thousands of euros in welfare.”

The FPÖ and the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) came together over the weekend to announce a cut in monthly payments for asylum seekers, among other policies in a 182-page document. Sebastian Kurz, ÖVP leader, will become Austria’s new Chancellor. The plan will take monthly payments from where they are now (just under 840 euros per month) down to 365 euros per month according to AFP. It is not known when this plan will go into effect.

Strache continued in his Facebook post that this plan is a “very important point when it comes to fairness for the Austrian population.”

The Freedom Party picked up several cabinet posts including the interior, defence and foreign ministries.

The FPÖ and ÖVP formed a coalition government after the two parties combined to win 113 of 183 National Council seats in the October elections. The 182-page document released on Saturday also stated that asylum seekers should provide authorities with access to their cell phones and refugee children should not be integrated into the school system, but receive separate German lessons.

Kai Dambach/InfoMigrants

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