Friday, 07. March 2014
26. 12. 12. - 12:00
The occupation of the Votivkirche church in Vienna by asylum seekers protesting against the conditions they are being kept in and against deportation is continuing.
The protest is part of an ongoing debate in Austria about the lack of facilities for asylum seekers in the country centring around a row between the national government and regional governments about who was responsible for providing those facilities - and paying for them.
Frustrated at the lack of progress a group of asylum seekers set up a tent city in the park in front of the Votivkirche and when pressure was put on them to move a group of them fled into the nearby Votivkirche where they announced a hunger strike and refused to move.
The situation is at the moment that there is a stand-off between the asylum seekers and officials. Workers from Catholic charity Caritas have been attempting to defuse the situation and have arranged alternative accommodation for those involved in the protest but so far none of them have taken up the offer to move. However dozens of other asylum seekers including women with children who are not part of the original process have now moved into the alternative accommodation set up for the protesters.
There are reportedly about 40 protesters occupying the church of which about 27 are on hunger strike.
Over Christmas the protesters apparently attempted to step up their campaign by spreading it to the Saint Stephen's Cathedral but they were prevented from entering by church officials backed up by local police.
The protesters had reportedly also tried to disrupt the Christmas Eve Mass in the Votivkirche but were prevented from doing so by plain clothes police officers.
The director of Caritas in Vienna Michael Landau said that the asylum seekers were now desperate and were too scared to take up the offer of moving to new quarters after constantly being disappointed in the past . He said that many people in the community had shown sympathy for the situation and had taken them Christmas presents and food to the refugees.
Ladies skiing offer at Stuhleck this weekend
In celebration of International Women's Day on Saturday 8 March, the Stuhleck ski resort in eastern Austrian is giving female skiers discount prices on ski passes.
Rediscovered 'degenerate' painting on show at Belvedere
A painting that was rediscovered in 2012, decades after it was seized by the Nazi's for being 'degenerate', is on display at the Belvedere Palace in Vienna.
Austrian Airlines spellcheck mishap
The online copyeditor for Austrian Airlines will be getting a slap on the wrist after it was embarrassingly revealed that the English version of their website is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors.
Carnival firemen answer 999 call as giant bees with handbags
Ten Austrian fireman ended up answering an emergency call for a serious road accident dressed as giant bumblebees after they got kitted out for a fancy dress parade on a carnival float shortly before they got the emergency call.
FPOe former press officer cleared over Nazi SS posts
The former press spokesperson for the Freedom Party (FPOe) has been cleared by prosecutors in Austria after Nazi quotes appeared on his Facebook page.
South Park game held back due to 'unconstitutional symbols'
Austria will have to wait a little bit longer to get the new game South Park: The Stick of Truth after game publisher Ubisoft announces that it is holding back the release due to the game containing "an unconstitutional symbol".
Co-working initiative comes to Innsbruck
The cultural initiative "Die Bäckerei" has brought the American trend of 'co-working' to Innsbruck in Austria.
Controversial former lobbyist Hochenegger on spiritual journey in Brazil
A former powerful lobbyist in Austria Peter Hochenegger now appears to be 'finding himself' on a spiritual journey whilst living in sunny Brazil.
Air China to fly to Spain via Vienna
A new four times weekly Air China flight between Beijing and Barcelona will stop off in Vienna when the route is launched on 5 May this year.
Telekoms Austria council to discuss America Movil shares pool
In response to calls for more information about a potential takeover of Telekoms Austria, the state holding company with shares the company have announced they will hold a meeting next week with the works council.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Veggies suffer more health problems say Graz researchers|
|Austria releases list of Ukrainians to have assets frozen|
|Vienna first city to be granted personal domain name|
|Lidl opening until 8pm|
|Terrifying high speed dash for British school ski group|
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.