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Refugee attitudes - Austria

#Austria has been one of the main destination countries for #asylumseekers. It hosts about 1, 46,000 #asylum seekers, mostly from #Syria, #Afghanistan, and #Iraq. Despite the influx of people fleeing war and persecution, we have seen the attitudes of Austrians and the government towards asylum seekers and #immigrants turn hostile over time.

The conservative People’s Party holds a tough stance on #immigration and is looking to tighten regulations, such as tightening border checks and introducing preventative custody practices. The party’s strict stance on immigration has garnered votes and more support from Austrians, as the hostility towards asylum seekers, #refugees and other immigrants becomes more pronounced.

In 2021, during the height of the refugee situation at the #Polish-Belarusian border, Austria was one of the many #EuropeanUnion states to have asked #Brussels to pay for physical barriers to curb migration. In a letter to the European Commission, #EU countries were proposing to construct a physical barrier, or wall, as an effective border measure that serves the interest of the whole EU in regards to migration. Austria was one of twelve countries which signed the letter.

The subject of immigration has become a very sensitive topic in Austria as the common perception is that immigrants and asylum seekers are going to be an economic burden. A fear mongering rhetoric is also present, saying that if Austria welcomes asylum seekers and foreigners, this could change the culture and demographics of the country.

Recent surveys about attitudes towards #Muslims and other non-Christian faiths show that Austria is one of the top countries in Europe who are the most negative toward those groups and anyone considered “not Austrian.”

Anti-immigrant policies and parties are quickly gaining popularity throughout Europe, and it is evident that Austria is no exception.

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