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Austria Toughens Rules on Foreign Workers

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TEHRAN, April 30 (ICANA) – Austria's Parliament has introduced a sweeping new law which is intended to attract legal skilled workers to the country, while making it more difficult for asylum seekers and illegal immigrants.
Saturday, April 30, 2011 11:38:28 AM
Austria Toughens Rules on Foreign Workers

The provisions of the law include a points system for eligibility, as well as requirement for a basic knowledge of the German language.

One of the controversial aspects of the new law is that asylum seekers must remain for up to seven days in special detention camps, and lowers the age from 18 to 16 for migrants who are extradited.

These and other provisions have been strongly criticised by various groups, including Amnesty International, who feel that they do not support integration, but rather foster a right-wing agenda.

The general sense of anger, particularly in the student and immigrant communities, has led to on-going protests, with thousands of demonstrators taking to the streets, starting from the main shopping district and blocking the road in front of Parliament for several hours.

With the passage into law of the Foreigners' Rights bill, Austria has imposed new restrictions on potential immigrants, including a points system and the need for a basic knowledge of the German language.

Despite vocal opposition from thousands of protesters, they were unable to prevent Parliament from passing this law, that some opponents consider racist and overly restrictive.

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