Monday, 21. April 2014
12. 06. 12. - 13:00
Local council elections in Romania at the weekend revealed that a one bedroomed appartement had more than 3,600 people registered as living there - and dozens of other addresses where the numbers supposedly staying there were over 1,000.
The figures exposed the extent to which people from Moldova are registering at fake addresses in order to qualify for a Romanian passport - and access to the EU job market.
Most use agents in Romania to do the paperwork - paying vast fees for the service which they earn by working at the same time abroad - but some are also in Romania organising the paperwork and when 70 of these from one address decided to vote this weekend alert poll officials raised the alarm.
But they were told that the Moldovans had not broken the law, nor had the flat owner that registered 3,600 tenants in the tiny 16.5 square metre studio apartment located in a former communist ghetto.
According to neighbours, all of the 3,600 are from Moldova and were registered by the owner of the flat as living there in order to get the Romanian ID cards. The same block of apartments hosts other derelict flats, with an average of 700 people per flat.
When local media visited they found that in reality the whole building has only three tenants, an unemployed couple and their child.
Despite the fact that ID trafficking is now big business, authorities say their hands are tied as the law allows the owner of a house to take in as many people as they want.
But it also backs up Romania's official policy of granting a large number of Moldovans the citizenship, that turns them in fully-fledged EU citizens.
Romania has even boasted of granting bogus citizenship to more than 250,000 immigrants from Moldova so they can travel to Britain and other EU countries to work.
Citizens from Moldova - not a member of the EU - are barred from free travel to Britain and claiming benefits or job rights, unlike their neighbours in Romania.
Recently Romanian president Traian Basescu told how his country has given passports to hundreds of thousands of Moldovans just so they can milk the EU system.
"Giving young Moldovans Romanian citizenship means we give them the right to study everywhere in the EU," he told local media.
"That also gives them the opportunity to work in countries where they will be better paid.
"It is a trend we know very well, as Romanians also go abroad to work. So we're giving the same chance to the citizens of the Republic of Moldova," he added.
Since 2007, Bucharest has been accused by EU member countries of granting citizenship to their communities in Moldova and the Ukraine.
The average monthly wage in the non-EU country, where unemployment is high, is just £100 and many Moldovans already work abroad, mostly as illegal immigrants in Europe's black economy.
The only requirement for a Moldovan to obtain legally the Romanian ID card is to have a stable residence in the country.
Pink Easter bunny helps Vienna art world pay tribute to Dürer
The Viennese art world has created its own version of the Easter Bunny – by making a giant sized sculpture of the famous Albrecht Dürer painting currently on display until 29 June as part of the exhibition "Dürer, Michelangelo, Rubens"
Pressure Group To Tackle Victims Of Austrian Officialdom
A group of businessmen fed up at the way companies are being squeezed not only by red tape but also by ever newer taxes have taken to the Internet to try and build up pressure for change.
First Hotel in Millstatt Celebrates 130th Anniversary on Summer 2014
Luxury hotel See-Villa in Millstatt, Carinthia opens its doors anew to welcome the 2014 summer season and celebrates its 130th founding anniversary in Austria's summer capital.
Austrian Teen Girls Become Pin Ups For Syrian Jihad
Interpol is searching for two Austrian teenage girls who they believe have been tricked into going to Syria to fight on the side of Islamic rebels.
As seen at Haydn Kino: The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Film review by Kostyantyn Steblovskyy
Schools Ordered To Save, But Also To Buy Expensive Scales
Austria's embattled finance ministry has been dragged into a new scandal after it emerged that at the same time as demanding schools save 57 Millionen Euros, they were also expected to find an additional 3 million to buy an approved set of weighing scales.
OAP Hunts Down THIS Hit And Run Cyclist
Does anyone recognise this cyclist? If so you can get yourself 200 euros, and do a good deed in the process.
Property price rise continues
The price of property in Vienna has now spiralled so much that every 4th apartment comes with a price tag of 500,000 or more. And every second flat costs 300,000 or more.
Free Staff For One Person Companies - But Only In NÖ
Since the beginning of the year one-man-companies, the so called "Ein-Personen-Unternehmen" in Lower Austria have been entitled to help in the form of a free assistant.
What is on at Burg Kino this week? (18 April - 24 April)
This week at the Burg Kino on the Opernring the following films are showing:
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Austrian Teen Girls Become Pin Ups For Syrian Jihad|
|Turtle flies from Vienna to India to try his luck with the ladies|
|Austria Accused Of Ignoring Giant Nazi Swastika|
|Muslim Brotherhood leader denies move to Graz|
|Two teenage girls go missing as they fly from Austria to fight in Syria|
Why suffer in silence. Let off steam by letting our readers share your troubles. File your complaints about anything and everything here.
Our ombudsman David Rogers will try and help solve some of the problems from lazy civil servants through to incompetent companies – and at the very least the worst transgressors will end up in our weekly special report.