Friday, February 5, 2016

Not welcomed: Migrants leave Austria and return to Middle East

Refugees and migrants in Austria are having second thoughts and making plans to return home to the Middle East, Deutsche Welle reported.Many refugees and migrants have become disillusioned with life as immigrants in Austria and are making plans to return home, Deutsche Welle (DW) reported on Wednesday.

Gunter Ecker, director of a local human rights group, Verein Menschenrechte, told DW that in January alone, the group assisted 347 people, mostly men, in leaving Austria.

“In 2015, they helped about 2,500 people fly home; Ecker expects that number to nearly double this year. The Verein works with the International Organization for Migration to arrange travel papers and flights.”

Several refugees and migrants from Iraq and Iran told the news website that they are leaving Austria because they are fed up with poor conditions in reception centers, and frustrated with the lack of opportunities for work or study.

  • “That is just fine with Austria’s Interior Minister, Johanna Mikl-Leitner, who has said she wanted to make Austria unattractive to migrants. Her goal is to send back at least 50,000 migrants over the next three years,” wrote DW, in a report entitled ‘Disappointed by Austria, migrants go home.’

On Monday the Austrian newspaper Heute reported that in order to reach the target of 50,000 departures, the Interior Ministry has decided to raise the amount of money paid as an incentive to asylum seekers to leave the country, and provide more advice in reception centers about ways to leave.

“The previous maximum of 370 euros ($412) will be raised to 500 euros ($557), and on returning within six months it would be 250 euros ($278),” Heute wrote.

“In addition, work is being undertaken to improve transport, extradition agreements and deportation flights,” and the list of safe countries of origin has been expanded to include Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Georgia, Mongolia and Ghana.

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