Austria: what can be done to improve integration?

The debate about migration and integration has reignited in Austria after the city of Vienna saw a mass brawl and then a stabbing within a few days of each other. The perpetrators are said to belong to gangs from various different countries of origin. Europe's press discusses how the violence can be contained.

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Der Standard (AT) /

End the shocked paralysis!

The state must bring the violence under control before it escalates even further, Der Standard demands:

“As things stand now, it looks very much as if the police have lost control and are being led around by the nose. This state of shocked paralysis is incomprehensible. It was only to be expected that there would be problems between different migrant groups. In other European cities these violent confrontations have been raging for years. Here, too, there have been repeated clashes... . It won't be long before Austrians without a migration background but with an affinity for violence join in, and right-wing extremists form 'vigilante groups' to feign security. Then chaos will reign supreme.”

Die Presse (AT) /

Political unity needed

The political camps must come together to address this problem, Die Presse urges:

“The refugee crisis in 2015 was the first rupture, and since then the main issue has simply been the high number of immigrants, which makes integration difficult. For a long time this was accompanied by a kind of social romanticism on the left. ... Now, as back then, what is at stake are territories - parks and streets - as well as honour, ethnicity and power. Real role models - clan gangsters who've grown rich in other countries - and fictitious role models from film and music complete the picture. ... It's high time a position of common sense on this topic was reached across the political camps. In a nutshell: the left must no longer deny the problems, and the right must no longer make them seem bigger than they are.”

Kleine Zeitung (AT) /

Take action before parallel societies emerge

The Kleine Zeitung is shocked by the results of the integration report presented last Monday:

“The fact that 40 percent (!) of all children at Vienna's compulsory schools are classified as pupils with special requirements because of their lacking German language skills is tantamount to a declaration of failure in terms of integration policy. Most other parameters also indicate that integration is progressing slowly, if not entirely stalled. If the politicians don't take action soon, Austria runs the risk of ending up with suburbs, banlieues and neighbourhoods like those in France, Belgium and Sweden which have become disconnected from society and turned into no-go areas. That cannot be in anyone's interest.”