When asked whether fences should be built on their own eastern border, the opinion of the Austrian population was divided 50:50. That’s according to a new OGM survey. On the other hand, a large majority is in favor of better protection of the EU’s external borders.
61 percent of the nearly 1,000 respondents living in Austria are in favor of increased external border surveillance by the EU, only 28 percent are against. The OGM study was conducted by ServusTV for the news magazine “Blickwechsel”.
Fence on the external border of the EU: even 53% of SPÖ voters are in favour
Divided over the individual parties, 92 percent of FPÖ voters, 72 percent of ÖVP voters, 53 percent of SPÖ voters, at least 16 percent of Green voters and 5 percent of NEOS voters are in favor of hard to pass through fences at the EU’s external borders.
Due to the high number of asylum applications in Austria, Austria vetoed Bulgaria’s and Romania’s accession to Schengen in December, sparking massive criticism in both countries and the EU. Over the weekend, Chancellor Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) stressed once again that Austria’s Schengen veto would remain in force “until the situation fundamentally changes”.
100,000 asylum applications in Austria in the previous year
Austria states that more than 100,000 migrants will be apprehended in Austria by 2022. According to the Interior Ministry, 40 percent came from Turkey via Bulgaria, mainly people from Afghanistan, Syria, Morocco, Egypt and Somalia. Bulgarian migration researcher Tihomir Bezlov doubts this and argued for further research into the numbers of irregular migrants. The Austrian Ministry of the Interior rejects the allegations and refers to the high number of unreported cases.
FPÖ: “Austria is not an immigration country”?
Austria is not and should not be an immigration country, said Hannes Amesbauer, FPÖ spokesman for internal affairs. However, Austria is currently the number one destination when it comes to asylum applications, because “the social benefits lure here”. The current figures regarding asylum are a result of the total failure of the federal government. In neighboring Hungary, 50 asylum applications were submitted last year, in Austria, on the other hand, 110,000 – so there is an error in the system. The borders are open like a “barn door” and the asylum quarters are said to be “popping like mushrooms”.
I am Ida Scott, a journalist and content author with a passion for uncovering the truth. I have been writing professionally for Today Times Live since 2020 and specialize in political news. My career began when I was just 17; I had already developed a knack for research and an eye for detail which made me stand out from my peers.