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Lower Austria gives refugees 'Ten Commandments'

May 13, 2019

Refugees in Lower Austria are to be issued with "Ten Commandments of Immigration" by regional authorities. Included in the edicts is a requirement for migrants to show gratitude to the country.

Refugees arriving in Austria
Image: picture-alliance/imageBroker

Authorities in Lower Austria are set to issue a new code of conduct for refugees to follow, according to a report on Monday.  

The rules would be referred to as the "Ten Commandments of Immigration," and would be issued to new refugees as soon as they arrive in the state, the German newspaper Welt reported.

Among the rules, migrants are required to:

  • Learn German
  • Adhere to Austrian laws
  • Adopt "Austrian values" and raise children in accordance with them;
  • Resolve conflicts nonviolently
  • Respect religious freedom
  • Prevent unnecessary suffering to animals
  • Show gratitude to Austria

The rules would underpin integration courses in 15 different languages for individuals applying for asylum. Refugees would be asked to sign a written agreement to adhere to them.

Officials would issue the "commandments" to refugees alongside their official asylum application documents, the regional minister responsible for asylum policy, Gottfried Waldhäusl, was reported as saying. 

Read more: Austrian interior minister accused of 'attacking rule of law'

Waldhäusl, from the right-wing populist Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), is known for a hard line on immigration and asylum. In 2018, he set up a fenced-off refugee facility close to the Czech border for young "notorious troublemakers." The policy came under criticism, however, and the center was closed.

Waldhäusl is the only FPÖ representative in Lower Austria's conservative center-right dominated state government.

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Richard Connor Reporting on stories from around the world, with a particular focus on Europe — especially Germany.