Lower Austrian FPÖ leader Udo Landbauer in Traiskirchen. Facebook

‘Migrants only ever lose their passports, never their knives’

Against the background of the continuing mass influx of asylum seekers, the Austrian FPÖ presents itself again with a winning campaign to deal with the crisis. At a press conference on Wednesday, three leading FPÖ politicians gave more details – in Traiskirchen, Lower Austria, of all places, which is the seat of a large first reception center and has been a "hot spot" for the mass influx for months.

Published: November 28, 2022, 5:56 am

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    The ruling ÖVP is driving the “sell out of our homeland at the expense of our own population” and young male migrants are a “massive security risk for our own population”, stated the Lower Austrian FPÖ leader Udo Landbauer.

    The asylum center in Traiskirchen is “symbolic of the total failure of the government,” said Landbauer. The FPÖ (Freedom Party) is the only party that stands behind the population on this issue. “When will the border fences that this country so desperately needs be built?”

    The flood of asylum seekers has hit the population hard. “Soldiers and police officers are reaching their mental and physical limits, but Interior Minister Karner apparently sees no need for action.” The fight against illegal migration must be “ruthless”, the goal is “zero immigration”. All migrants who are currently coming are social and economic refugees, strangely enough they only ever lose their passports “but never their knives” at the border, he pointed out.

    In the current year alone, 180 000 people have come to Austria to stay. That corresponds to the population of St. Pölten and the surrounding area. “Every assault, every rape, every harassment” made him more doubtful about the “poor migrant tale”, said Landbauer. He once again spoke out in favor of a significant tightening of the asylum law. In the case of the smallest irregularity or lie, the asylum status should be revoked or rejected.

    The Salzburg FPÖ parliamentary group leader Marlene Svazek added: “We have taken in the city of Salzburg twice since 2015.” In the current year alone, 866 million euros have been spent on the procedures and care for asylum seekers. In view of the great wave of inflation, this was “unacceptable”. The Salzburg state government now wants to take in 60 people a week and distribute them to each municipality in Salzburg.

    Mario Kunasek, former defense minister and head of the Styrian Freedom Party, recalled Austria’s overwhelming hospitality. With ten times the size, Germany has not even taken in twice the number of asylum seekers compared to Austria, with Italy and Spain even less.

    Under the leftist black-green government, Austria has developed into a hotspot for illegal immigration. “There are 27 migrants per million inhabitants in Italy, 18 in France – and 452 in Austria,” said Kunasek.

    When it comes to migration, Austrians trust the FPÖ

    By the end of October, 89 867 asylum applications had been filed in Austria which is more than in the whole of 2015. In October alone, there were 17 982, more than in the whole of 2020 0r even 2019 or 2018. Citizens are hoping for solutions from the FPÖ.

    The ÖVP has completely gambled away the trust of the Austrians. Nevertheless, Chancellor Karl Nehammer does not want to resign from government. Presumably, despite corruption scandals and poll losses, the People’s Party still considers itself fit to govern. On the issue of asylum, which previous Chancellor Sebastian Kurz had successfully hijacked from the FPÖ, citizens realise that nothing can be expected from the ÖVP except empty promises and announcements.

    Polls show FPÖ as competent

    When asked by pollster Peter Hajek “Which party has the best proposals on the subject of immigration?”, the Chancellor’s party comes in at a distant 10 percent. In contrast, 34 percent of the citizens see the FPÖ as the party with the greatest competence to deal with the flood of asylum seekers. In second place was the SPÖ, whose leader could not see any asylum crisis in the summer, when the numbers were already rising massively.

    The president of the Red Cross, Gerald Schöpfer, also thinks the issue is “blown out of proportion” because his organisation profits from the care of migrants.

    It is worse than 2015, when hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants stormed the borders of Europe. So far, 75 000 migrants have been apprehended at Austria’s borders alone. Citizens are massively unsettled and afraid as tent cities for the immigrants are springing up in the middle of towns.

    “That’s more than in the years 2017 to 2021 combined,” said Gernot Gasser, military commander of Burgenland. And it is a sign of the complete failure of the black-green government. Austria’s eastern province has to bear the “brunt” of the “closed” Balkan route.

    SPÖ mayor Roman Kainrath told the media, 30 to 40 so-called refugees arrived in his municipality every day. In Eisenstadt, even the prison is now overcrowded; instead of 175, there are usually 200 to 220 inmates and about 70 percent are serving time for smuggling.

    Government does nothing

    According to the military commander, the fact that between 2 800 and 3 000 migrants are apprehended in Burgenland every week is now beyond the capabilities of dedicated task forces. Even the main operations against smugglers are only a drop in the ocean. Because all arrivals are taken to asylum centres or are simply sent on in the hope that they will move on to Germany.

    Although the asylum figures of the Austrian Federal Ministry of the Interior for September are not yet available, August was already a record month with 14 240 asylum applications. Even in the critical months of 2015, there were at least 2 000 fewer applications.

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