Friday, 01. August 2014
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.
Teen Dying Of Cancer Killed At Charity Event After Ride In Porsche Goes Wrong
The family of a sick boy who was offered a trip in a high-performance Porsche because he was dying of cancer is suing the charity after the Porsche he was travelling in crashed head-on into oncoming traffic.
Japanese Pervert Planned Natascha Kampusch Style Kidnap
A Japanese man inspired by Austrian pervert Wolfgang Priklopil kidnapped a 10-year-old girl and kept her in a purpose-built cellar where he planned to train her to become the perfect wife.
German Hiker Yodels For Help After Getting Trapped In Cattle Grid
A portly hiker dressed in traditional Lederhosen was rescued after he yodeled for help after getting stuck for three hours in a cattle grid.
Austrian Wine Grower Sets New Record For Maturing Grapes
An award-winning Austrian winegrower is believed to have set a new record after leaving harvested grapes for an incredible nine months before fermenting them to create an ultra-sweet white and red wine.
Austrian Castle Owner Shocked By Airplane Wheel In Duck Pond
An Austrian castle owner got a shock after discovering this massive aircraft wheel had landed in his duck pond.
Glock Receives Austrian Award At Birthday Party
Austrian gun maker Gaston Glock has celebrated his 85th birthday with a huge ceremony in which the charitable work of himself and his wife Kathrin was honoured with a top Austrian award, and confirmation that this year two streets and a business park are to be named after him.
Sausage Surprise As Giant Wurst Is Pinched
Austrian police are hunting crooks who broke open a market stall and stole a 1.5 metre sausage worth over 2,000 EUR in the picture postcard village of St Michael in the region of Lungau.
Multi Coloured UFOs In Formation Over Austria
Austrian officials say they are baffled to explain a UFO sighting in which dozens of people reported seeing between 50 and 100 objects flying in formation.
Priests Furious After Porn Films Shot In Local Parish Church
A furious Austrian Catholic priest has complained to police after discovering a local woman had apparently been using his church as a studio to make porn films.
Two metre snake sends woman motorist fleeing
An Austrian motorist got a shock after noticing something hanging down from under her car – and realising it was a huge two metre snake that had ended up curled around the engine.
The most popular stories –
last 7 days
|Priest Claims Hate Texts Are From Demon Spirit|
|Tragic Death Of Toddler Who Fell Into Outhouse Toilet|
|Ice Tea Worth 20K Stolen And Emptied So Bottles Can Be Sold For 11 GBP|
|Graffiti Artists Asked To Finish Off Vandalism Too Costly To Remove|
|Nurse Fired For Moonlighting As Porn Star|
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.