Eastern Europe tightens the immigration screws

June 6, 2018 Europe , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS

Peter Tkac photo



Tom Arms



Austria and Hungary are busy tightening the already tight immigration screws. Last week the Austrian coalition government unveiled plans to cut benefit payments for immigrants.


The main benefit payment will be capped at $655 a month compared to a $1,000 a month for indigenous Austrians. On top of that, they will be barred from claiming any benefits for five years. After five years, however, they can claim the same as an Austrian welfare recipient if they pass a German language test.


The proposal brings Austria into conflict with the rest of the European Union as EU rules on freedom require all member states’ citizens to be treated equally.


Hungary’s Viktor Orban knows all about conflict with Brussels. He and his right-wing Fidesz Party have been refusing to implement EU immigration rules since the refugee crisis started three years ago. This week he decided to give the Brussels nose a new twist by proposing laws to criminalise anyone who helps asylum-seeking migrants.


The legislation would make printing leaflets with information for asylum-seekers or offering food or legal advice a criminal offence. The constitution will also be amended to prevent other EU countries from transferring asylum seekers to Hungary.


Of course, the number of refugees who seek asylum in Hungary are miniscule. A razor-wire fence patrolled by armed guards and attack dogs is a strong indication to them that are unwelcome in Orbanland.





Tom Arms

I am a journalist, entrepreneur and historian with extensive experience in print, web and broadcast journalism. I started as a diplomatic correspondent, wrote several books (The Falklands Crisis, World Elections On File and the Encyclopedia of the Cold War), and then in 1987 started my own business (Future Events News Service, www.fensinformation.com) which over 25 years established itself as the world and UK media’s diary. Our strapline was: “We set the world’s news agenda.” I sold FENS in December 2012 but retained the exclusive broadcast rights to all of FENS data. To exploit these rights I set up LookAhead TV which produces unique programmes which “Broadcasts Tomorrow Today” so that viewers can “Plan to Participate.” LookAhead has appeared regularly on Vox Africa, Radio Tatras International, The Conversation and Voice of Africa Radio.

In addition to being a syndicated broadcaster and columnist on global affairs, Tom is also available for speaking engagements and can be contacted on TwitterLinkedin and email[email protected].

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