Refugees in Austria to sign ’10 Commandments’

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Asylum seekers in Austria’s largest province will have to sign “10 Commandments for Immigration” including “Thou shalt learn German,” according to a plan by a far-right member of Lower Austria’s provincial administration.

Other commandments include “Thou shalt follow Austrian law,” “Thou shalt solve conflicts in a non-violent way,” and “Thou shalt live in gratitude toward Austria.”

“We protect these people for a certain period and give them everything they need. We expect a certain gratitude in return,” said Gottfried Waldhaeusl, who is responsible for refugee issue in lower Austria.

Asylum seekers will not face special consequences for breaking the commandments.

Anti-immigration sentiment in Austria was stoked by the 2015 during Europe’s migration crisis, during which thousands of migrants passed through the country on their way to other EU states such as Sweden and Germany. Many of them were Syrian war refugees. Austria took in asylum seekers numbering the equivalent of around 1 percent of its population during the 2015 crisis.

The Freedom Party politician drew heavy criticism several months ago when he assigned unaccompanied underage refugees to an accommodation that was protected by guards and a barbed wire fence. Lower Austria’s center-right government chief Johanna Mikl-Leitner subsequently decided to transfer the youth to a more humane accommodation.