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Austrian asylum plans: Chancellor Faymann vs Interior Minister Fekter

The discussions about the new asylum plans of the government turns out to be an emotional conflict between the social democratic chancellor Werner Faymann and the Interior Minister of the Peoples party Maria Fekter.

Faymann thinks that a “general imprisonment” of all asylum seekers makes no sense to him. “The Socialdemocrats won’t agree in such a suggestion”, he confirmed. It was the idea of the coalition partner that all asylum seekers who come to Austria should be brought into a prison camp.

The Peoples party is not very impressed about Faymanns challenge. Vice chancellor Josef Pröll said that his party is going to fight for the new asylum plans. Also Interior Minister Maria Fekter seems to be very relaxed. “There are no uniform rules in the Socialdemocratic party against our plan”, she says.

Some Socialdemocrats disagree with Faymann indeed and think that Fekters plans are not that bad. One of them is the leader of Lower Austrias Socialdemocratic party. The Socialdemocratic mayor of the Lower Austrian town of Traiskirchen even says that it shouldn’t be a problem to imprison every asylum seeker for at least seven days. “If somebody really wants asylum in Austria, he should accept that”, confirmed the mayor.

Different opinions in the Upper Austrian party of the Socialdemocrats. “A prison camp is not suitable for our asylum seekers”, said for instance the provincial party chairman. Carinthias chairman refuses Fekters plans as “brute”.

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