Austria Prepares for a State of Emergency

In he first round of Austria’s presidential election last Sunday, Norbert Hofer, the candidate for the Austrian Freedom Party (Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs, FPÖ) scored a stunning victory with 27% of the vote. The result sent a political tremor through Austria, because Mr. Hofer’s closest competitor was the candidate for the Green Party, who got 21% of the vote. The country’s two major parties, the Socialists and the ÖVP, failed to make it to the runoff. So, no matter who wins the final round, it means a seismic shift in Austrian politics.

This electoral background may offer at least a partial explanation for the legislative action described in the article below. The Austrian government knows that it is facing a long, hot summer with the “refugee” crisis. Now that the Balkan Route has been closed, the flow of immigrants is in the process of shifting to the Libya -> Lampedusa/Sicily -> Italy -> Austria route. The Brenner Pass in the Tyrol will be the new major crossing point for the flow of migrants, and Austria has already announced that it intends to close this bottleneck.

And now the country is legally preparing for a state of emergency. The ÖVP evidently hopes to salvage at least a fragment of its political clout by introducing this measure in parliament.

Notice the list of opponents: the Greens, various human rights groups, the UNHCR, and — surprise! — the Catholic bishops.

Many thanks to Egri Nök for translating this article from Die Welt:

Austria: “State of Emergency” Act

Austria resolves tough asylum law

The Austrian parliament has tightened asylum rules drastically. On Wednesday, the parliament in Vienna adopted an amendment that allows emergency regulations. Austria may proclaim a “state of emergency” in the refugee crisis in the future. As a result, protection seekers might get little chance at all of seeking asylum.

This is the consequence of an amendment to the asylum law, which a large majority of the Austrian Parliament voted for on Wednesday.

The “state of emergency” is defined as a threat to public order and internal security. Such a decision by the government will have to be approved by Parliament. In this case, applications for asylum seekers will only be accepted from certain refugees. This includes people who have close relatives in Austria, unaccompanied minors, and women with small children. Everyone else would have to return to neighbouring countries.

An “emergency” will initially be limited to six months, but may be extended for up to two years.

With this amendment, Austria gave itself one of the toughest asylum laws in the EU. The possibility of denying the refugees’ applications for asylum at the border exists otherwise only in Hungary.

The Greens sharply criticized the amendment. “The right of asylum is completely undermined,” said Green Party leader Eva Glawischnig. The law would be eroded. Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka (ÖVP) justified the step. “The capacity limit is oriented towards Austrians,” said Sobotka. Many organizations, such as the UN refugee agency UNHCR, the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights, and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, have spoken out against the legislative package. For the right-wing FPÖ on the other hand, the measures do not go far enough.

16 thoughts on “Austria Prepares for a State of Emergency

  1. What is sadly happening in Europe with the So-called refugees has my head spinning. Many of these unvetted Muslim refugees will end up in smaller American towns such as Missoula, Montana changing the culture forever, depending on how many relocate there. I side with Austria and their attempt to stem this flood of Islamic invaders.

  2. Keep your ears and eyes tuned for the word “emergency” in Austria or the USA or any country. The PTB will not call their putsch martial law, it will be “dealing with an emergency crisis situation.” The key word, nearly a code word, being “emergency.” And only then we will learn about the classified sections of laws that have already been passed, for dealing with “disorder” and “public danger” during an “emergency.”

    • To be clear, in this case, it’s a “good emergency,” that is, keeping the moslem invaders out. But next month it can be an “emergency” used against the native Europeanss, or against “bitter clingers” here in the USA. My point is that “emergency” is a very powerful word, in an era when special laws will be revealed and kicked into gear during “declared emergencies.”

      • Yes, I agree, that’s what applies here. But not in Europe. Only if the EU declares an emergency — then it will be like a federal decision here.

    • But Austria may be different in that regard from the USA. A large chunk of their professionals who would have to execute decisions in any “emergency” agree with you and me. I’m talking about soldiers, police, etc. They just have to keep it real quiet right now. And I’m told it’s the same in Germany.

        • Yes, that’s why an Austrian emergency may not be at all like a Brussels “emergency”. Expect some surprises over the next 6-18 months.

          • Indeed.

            Among Western Europe, I’d have some hope for Austria. It’s a bit different from some of the others.

  3. This is a critical point in European history: Is enough rational enlightenment energy going to remain in Europe so that they can create another Charles Martel moment? …and win? Or has the dilution by immigration and postmodern critical theory left them beyond the balance point with an unequivoval Islamic future?

    They need a prayer.

  4. The FPÖ called this a placebo law and voted against it. They are right of course. The governing coalition are adept at talking tough whilst doing nothing of any substance.

  5. It’s very rare that a state or grouping of states that proudly declare state atheism as their creed de coeur survives much longer than 3 more generations. It’s close to that now. It’s more or less consistent that Europe will now spiral down into rivers of blood, mostly self-inflicted. The West is begging to be destroyed.

  6. The only thing Europe can do to defuse the refugee crisis is to help crush ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

    The EU and its individual members should stop any support to any kind of “opposition” in Syria, recognise Assad as the only legitimate leader of Syria and help him by providing intelligence, political and financial assistance. They should also support the Iraqi government in its struggle against ISIS.

    They should also get serious about catching and punishing Islamic terrorists at home, shut down Islamist websites and generally taking anti-jihad measures. And protect Christian, Yazidi and any other non-Muslim refugees from their Muslim compatriots.

    And, of course, stop drivelling about “democratic revolutions” in the Muslim world and understand that Islam is totally incompatible with democracy. So the EU and all its members should support those regimes that contribute to stability and peace, discourage extremism and ensure tolerable conditions of life for religious minorities, no matter how undemocratic these regimes are.

  7. Not to be forgotten is the long relationship of Austria with its neighbors, especially Hungary, which was first a part of the Habsburg Empire, then a partner in the Dual Monarchy, and through the Cold War a presence in the minds of ordinary Austrians. Austria was a likely escape route.
    A teacher of mine once told me, when I first went to Vienna, to “look for its Slavic heart”. At one time, Czechs, Poles and Slovaks too were citizens of the empire. One Viennese old-timer nostalgically mentioned that Bratislava used to be “just a trolley ride away”. And who are the leaders of the East European resistance to Merkel’s plan?

    • Bratislava is still a tram ride away. Or rather, it is an hour-long train ride away. Vienna is full of Slovaks shopping there because so much stuff is cheaper in Austria even though Slovakian wages are way lower. Indeed Austria’s big problem is its geographical position. Its heartland is completely surrounded by countries that are far poorer and which can easily act as migration conduits. Vienna is now only 50% Austrian. In addition to the new Muslim enrichment, the country has long had many Turks and Yugoslavs. Also, and despite its nazi-condoning rep, its elite is stuffed with the kind of naive, self-hating idiots that are ruining Germany. Little Austria is going to be one of the first countries in “Western” Europe to lose its ethnic identity completely.

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