The Austrian ruling coalition, composed of conservatives and right-wing populists, intends to reduce the amount of state social benefits for those who cannot confirm their knowledge of German. The corresponding plans were announced on Monday, May 28, by Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
“The basic rule that we introduce will be that German will be the key to getting the minimum payout in full,” Kurtz said during a press conference. “This means that those who are not sufficiently fluent in the language will not be able to fully qualify for them,” he explained.
The Austrian Chancellor clarified that most of the people using these payments live in Vienna. About half of them are foreign nationals.
No more than 563 euros per month
In accordance with the innovation, the amount of the minimum allowance per person will be 563 euros ($ 656) per month. For Austrians, the amount can be increased to 863 euros ($ 1003) per month, and then only if the language test is passed successfully. Child benefits will also be reduced.
In accordance with the directive on the freedom of movement of labor in the European Union, foreign citizens should be equal in their rights with the Austrians. On the question of whether the new initiative violates the law, Kurtz responded that only the Austrian Constitutional Court is entitled to decide on this matter.