Tuesday, 21. April 2015
27. 12. 12. - 15:00
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 possibility that police might be used to remove the asylum seekers has already been dismissed as unlikely in particular because it would need the backing of the dioceses which they are unlikely to receive
The asylum seekers also want the opportunity to work while their claims for asylum are being considered and also for their fingerprints to be deleted if they are rejected so that they have a chance of asylum in another country.
Latest information is that there are currently 30 protesters in the church of which 14 are on a hunger strike and refusing to eat. Several of these are reportedly now showing signs of extreme weakness and have been getting medical treatment on site but are refusing to be taken to hospital.
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 on December 18th 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.
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 recently visited the asylum seekers and has been trying to persuade Chancellor Werner Faymann (SPÖ) to come and speak to them personally – so far without success.
He said they 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.
» Travel 2013-04-01
Looking out of the window you may think of anything other than summer, but it is rapidly approaching and that means one thing - Summer holidays!
» Panorama 2013-03-18
Glamour and glitz were out in force at the weekend as stars from Austria and further afield flocked over the red carpet into the Vienna City Hall for a night of awards, dance and partying!
» Panorama 2013-02-11
By far the sweetest event in the Vienna Ball season - the Bonbon Ball took place this weekend.
Semmering Offers 50% Discount To Selected Heroes
The Magic Mountain Semmering will hold two Weeks of Heroes from 1st to 14th March as Panhans Holding Group says thank you to safety and well-being volunteers and professionals.
Skier Survived Almost Two Hours Buried Alive
A skier had a miracle escape after being buried under two metres of snow for nearly two hours during an avalanche in Austria, it was revealed last night.
Puppies Found Stuffed Inside Suitcase In Back Of Van
A litter of puppies destined for a dog farm was rescued after being found stuffed inside suitcases in the back of a van.
Kangaroo That Hopped It Spotted In Garden
Austrian police investigating reports of an escaped kangaroo have been given concrete proof after a local woman managed to photograph the animal in her back garden.
First Images Of Eurovision Stage
These are the first images of the design for the Eurovision Song Contest stage unveiled in the Austrian capital Vienna which is the home of last year's winner Conchita Wurst.
Russian Mafia Boss Nabbed At Vienna Railway Station
A Russian mobster wanted for a string of brutal murders was arrested in the gentile Austrian capital Vienna when commandos swooped as he went to buy a train ticket.
Teen Girls Arrested After Offering Themselves To IS Fighters
Austrian officials who recently cracked down on terrorism by arresting several people believed to be recruiting and fundraising for ISIS have revealed two more teenage girls tried to leave the country to marry terrorist fighters.
Ebola's deadly reach impacts Vienna student
Austria has yet to record its first case of Ebola, but the feared virus has already had a severe impact on the lives of Africans living in Vienna.
Grigorij Sokolov Works His Magic At Vienna Konzerthaus
Whilst the world-famous Wizard of Oz played at the Volksoper, there was another Wizard in the Konzerthaus giving his 16th performance in Vienna!
Penelope Cruz To Play The Ice Cream Killer
The memoirs of the woman dubbed the Ice Cream Killer after she shot dead two ex-lovers before hacking the bodies up with a chainsaw and telling neighbours the noise was a new ice cream machine are due to be turned into a blockbuster with Penelope Cruz playing the lead role.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Wife Invites Sexy Dancers To Husbands Funeral Service|
|Pig Called Streaky Bacon Goes Viral|
|Suspected Thief Trapped In Narrow Sewer|
|Cyclist Disfigured After Truck Door Opens|
|Six Legged Kid Dubbed Spider Goat|
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.