Cover

They must master German before arriving in the country, spend a week in a reception centre and already possess one of the new red-white-red work visas: these are the three key points of the new law on immigration adopted by the Austrian government on 22 February, shortly to be debated in parliament. Der Standard reportson outspoken criticism from both the opposition and NGOs, which attack the government for introducing a measure that amounts to a “declaration that immigration policy is bankrupt” and brings “shame on Austria.” How for example can the right to family reuinification be sustained if all the members of a family have to speak German? How can exceptional treatment for the relatives of the highly qualified be justified? How can rights be contingent on a level of education that corresponds with graduation from Austrian secondary school? For Der Standard, “integration” of the kind proposed by Interior Minister Maria Fekter amounts to an authorisation to “pursue, harrass and demoralise.”