The amount of the minimum income protection in Austria is now to be made dependent on the German language skills, among other factors, according to reports from Vienna.
In each of the nine Austrian states, there is currently a different minimum income scheme. Now the Austrian government has decided to create a nationwide legal regulation, the general aim of which is to make immigration into the Austrian social system more difficult and to curb what is known as “minimum income tourism” between the federal states. Vienna also plans to make a distinction in the new system between immigrants and people who have already paid into the system.
In interviews with two major European newspapers, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz detailed plans of his country’s European Union (EU) presidency, which starts in July. Unsurprisingly, Kurz, who was sworn in in mid-December as Austria’s new, and at 31, youngest-ever chancellor, leading a nationalist government that includes the country’s most virulent far-right party as coalition partners, plans to focus on fortifying the EU’s external borders.
“German is the key to full minimum income,” Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said in a statement.
Critics have questioned whether the minimum income is the right tool: “What a great government, those who do not speak enough German should starve and become homeless,” was a comment on Facebook.