Interior Minister: 90 Per Cent of Asylum Seekers Unemployed

Visitors attend the second edition of a job fair for refugees and migrants on January 25, 2017 in Berlin. According to the organisers, about 200 companies and consulting and aid oranisations give career advice, provide informations on how to find job offers and vocational training and help to give insight …

Austrian Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka has said some 90 per cent of asylum seekers are without work as the general unemployment rate in Austria rises.

The Interior Minister made the comments Wednesday noting that some 500,000 plus Austrians were on the hunt for a job in the month of January. Citing the high figures for asylum seeker unemployment, he argued the case for an increase in border security and for a reduction in overall migration, Kronen Zeitung reports.

Even the ten per cent of asylum seekers who actually manage to find work may not find either meaningful employment or permanent jobs as many are part time or apprenticeships. Figures from 2015 kept by the Ministry of Social Affairs state a mere 20 per cent of asylum seeker jobs lasted more than three months.

The current migrant limit in Austria stands at around 37,500 per year, but the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP), of which Sobotka is a member, has made the case to decrease the limit to 17,000 per year.  Sobotka said the government must prioritise migrants already in the country for integration before admitting more.

The anti-mass migration Freedom Party (FPÖ) have taken an even tougher stance on the issue saying the migration limit should be far lower than 17,000. FPÖ leader Heinz-Christian Strache said, “We do not need an upper limit, nor a halving of the upper limit – we need a zero-migration, in fact, a minus-migration, because of all the illegals and criminals who are in the country”.

Sobotka now seems to agree. While he supports the 17,000 migrant limit he said, “even less would be better”.

The minister also talked about a new proposal to track the whereabouts of potentially dangerous radical Islamists. The government has proposed making Salafists and other potential terrorists wear ankle bracelets that would track their movements.

He said the monitors would not be a cure-all for the Islamist threat and other measures, like registering the owners of prepaid mobile phone SIM cards and recording the license plates of Islamist suspects, would also play a large role in preventing possible terror attacks.

Terrorism has emerged into the forefront of Austrian politics after police arrested a 17-year-old who they say was plotting a bombing in the Austrian capital of Vienna.

Only days after the teenage Muslim’s arrest, 800 Austrian police in Graz and Vienna conducted a series of raids arresting just over a dozen people who they claim were plotting to overthrow the Austrian government and establish an Austrian Islamic caliphate.

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