HomeWorldDeported schoolgirls: criticism from the Austrian president | Free press

Deported schoolgirls: criticism from the Austrian president | Free press

The deportation of well-integrated families is causing waves in Austria. The operation causes tensions between the conservative ÖVP and its green coalition partner. The Federal President also intervenes.

Vienna (dpa) – In an unusual video message, Austrian Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen sharply criticized the nightly deportation of three school girls.

“I cannot and will not believe that we live in a country where this is really necessary in this form,” the head of state criticized in a video published on social media on Thursday. Each state body must act on the basis of applicable laws. But it is also about a sense of proportion and legal leeway. “Let’s give priority to the wellbeing of children, children and young people”, Van der Bellen demanded.

Police say the action in Vienna was accompanied by protests from 160 people, including politicians from the social democratic SPÖ, the Greens and the liberal Neos. For the deportation center in Vienna they stood up especially for one of the affected families. This family had lived with short interruptions in Austria since 2006. The family’s right of residence had been refused in the last instance four years ago.

Some protesters tried to prevent the police convoy from leaving with a sit-in and bulky items. After the action ended, the family was deported. Sharp criticism of the actions of the conservative ÖVP-led Ministry of Interior came from the green coalition partner.

Many school colleagues and teachers of the Austrian-born twelve-year-old student argued in vain for the high school student’s right of residence. The Ministry of the Interior referred to several Supreme Court rulings that provided for an expulsion. “This is not an easy service for the deployed police officers, but it is still necessary to help the rule of law achieve a breakthrough here,” ÖVP Interior Minister Karl Nehammer said on radio station Ö1. ÖVP security spokesman Karl Mahrer declined to make it easier for Austrian-born children to gain access to citizenship.

Green Vice-Chancellor Werner Kogler called the deportation “inhumane and irresponsible”. Leading up to the event, the Greens had campaigned for the well-integrated family and for a ‘human solution’. Speaking to Home Secretary Nehammer, Kogler said, “There is no mandatory legal obligation to deport schoolchildren who have grown up here in Austria and are well integrated.” The ÖVP, which stands under Chancellor Sebastian Kurz for a strict migration course, has had a coalition with the Greens for just over a year.

On social media, many people were outraged by the police action in the middle of the pandemic. Numerous photos and videos of the demonstration can be found on Twitter.

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