Austrian Minister: Immigrants Must Integrate or Face Fines

REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusini
REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusini

Sebastian Kurz, Austria’s centre-right foreign and integration minister has called for fines of up to  €1,000 (£750) for migrant parents who don’t encourage their children to integrate into Austrian culture and society.

The fines would be related to ‘school summons’, and would be levied if parents failed to comply with the demands of the schools their children attend. Government ministers supporting the idea cited the case of a father who refused to go to school parents’ evenings because his children’s teacher was a woman as an example where the fine would be appropriate.

Some Austrians had other suggestions, reports The teachers union leader said that while he agreed with fines for parents, he said they should be extended to all unruly parents, not merely migrants. He also suggested the best way to encourage integration would be to hire more ethnic minority teachers, who would be able to speak to students in their own language.

This suggestion stands in contrast to the experience of many in the United Kingdom, which has been dealing with the causes and consequences of diverse languages in the classroom for years. Earlier this week Breitbart London reported that New Culture Forum director Peter White called for a new approach to diversity in schools. He remarked that allowing children to speak their heritage languages rather than encouraging English created a “barrier to social progress and a barrier to social cohesion.

“There has been an emphasis too much on keeping people in separate boxes and keeping them apart”.