Austrian opposition exposes painful truth

Austrian opposition exposes painful truth

The migration crisis is raging across Western Europe, and Austria and Switzerland are no exception. The number of illegal immigrants arriving at the borders of the two countries is reaching new records month after month. The Austrian opposition has recently directed harsh criticism against the government regarding the issue.


Illegal immigration into Switzerland almost tripled last year, data published by the Swiss Office for Customs and Border Security (OFDF) reveal.

The number of illegal border crossings into the country has risen steadily over the past three years, from 11,043 in 2020 to 18,859 in 2021, and 52,077 last year.

The significant rise in last year’s numbers “is mainly attributable to the fact that the migrants can cross the eastern and southern border more easily,” OFDF stated in reference to the country’s borders with Austria and Italy. The migrants are mainly Afghan and Moroccan citizens. Many of those entering the country have an Austrian asylum proceedings card, have been in Europe for a longer time and intend to travel on to France or the United Kingdom, information by the border guard agency suggests, writes the Swiss news agency SWI.

Switzerland is surrounded by EU countries within the Schengen Area, which enables the free movement of people. Switzerland is also part of this area, which makes border checks significantly more difficult. Despite a significant increase in the number of illegal border crossings, the number of people arrested on suspicion of people smuggling actually fell slightly last year compared to 2021, from 478 to 476. To combat the worrying trend of illegal immigration, the governments of Switzerland and Austria agreed last September on an extensive action plan.

In 2022, two-thirds of arrests related to illegal entry took place in the last five months of the year. The growing number of illegal immigrants shows that efforts must be stepped up to contain the situation.

Austria, for example, should not constantly send “invitations” to people who would like to come to Europe from countries in Africa or the Middle East, the right-wing Freedom Party of Austria (FPO) opined, touching on the painful truth at one of the parliamentary sessions.

“You can twist and turn the issue as you like, but the fact is that the OVP and the Greens opened the door and have left it open to illegal migrants heading to our country. With its flawed policy, OVP is essentially sending invitations to migrants increasingly at the expense of Austria’s population, and this cannot continue like this,”

said Hannes Amesbauer, FPO’s security expert. Since the OVP-Greens coalition has been in power, a total of more than 176 thousand asylum applications have been submitted. Just behind Vienna, Graz and Linz, this number corresponds to the population of the fourth largest city in Austria. In the previous year alone, almost 110 thousand asylum applications were registered in Austria.

“Interior Minister Gerhard Karner and his predecessor, Chancellor Karl Nehammer, made Austria the top destination for illegal immigrants despite the fact that our country is surrounded by safe third countries, and thus essentially no asylum applications could be submitted according to the Dublin Regulation,”

the right-wing politician explained, describing the current refugee crisis in his country as catastrophic. No one in the government has the courage or the will to challenge Brussels and bring the interests of the country’s population back into focus in politics.



austria, illegal migrants, switzerland