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Posted by On April 02, 2018

Ireland U-19s have to settle for a draw with Austria

Republic of Ireland 1-1 Austria

The Republic of Ireland Women's Under-19s were held in the opening fixture of the UEFA European Women’s Under-19 Championship Elite Round as they drew 1-1 with Austria at Turner’s Cross.

Saoirse Noonan’s towering header at the beginning of the second half cancelled out a stunning finish from Austria’s Johanna Schneider and was enough to see Ireland begin life in Group 4 with a point.

Austria began the game the better side and they twice went close to grabbing the lead early on but both Johanna Schneider and Laura Krumbock failed to trouble goalkeeper Naoisha McAloon.

Ireland threatened to grab an opener in the 20th minute but after forcing a succession of corners, Shelbourne Ladies midfielder Tiegan Ruddy drove her effort well over the target.

And almost immediately following Ireland’s best spell in the match, Austria char ged up the other end and broke the deadlock with Schneider finding the far bottom left corner with a superb lob from the edge of the box.

Austria finished the half strongly but they were punished for not taking their opportunities at the beginning of the second 45 as Noonan levelled terms, powering her header home at the back post from a corner shortly after the restart.

Both sides pressed for a winner and Lauryn O’Callaghan went closest for Ireland late on but after being played in by Noonan, the defender’s thunderous shot was saved by goalkeeper Milena Zink.Next up for the U-19’s is a tough fixture against Spain at Turner’s Cross on Thursday evening.

Ireland Head Coach Dave Connell said: "First half we showed a little bit of nervousness and probably Austria shaded it without really dominating it. They caught us on the break for our own set-play so that was disappointing.

"We re-grouped at half-time, had a good chat and changed the form ation slightly and I thought we dominated the second half which shows great testament to the character of the girls. Overall, we're a little bit disappointed we didn't win but we'll settle for the draw and it keeps us in the group.

"I think the character the team showed and the belief that's in the squad is something they can take into the next game."

Republic of Ireland: Naoisha McAloon; Lynn Craven, Niamh Farrelly, Sadhbh Doyle, Chloe Singleton; Alex Kavanagh, Tiegan Ruddy, Saoirse Noonan; Megan Mackey (Orla Casey 89), Alannah McEvoy (Naima Chemaou 57), Sinead Donovan (Lauryn O’Callaghan 57)

Austria: Milena Zink; Laura Wienroither, Magdalena Bachler, Laura Krumbock (Maileen Mossner 59), Yvonne Weilharter; Besijana Pireci, Melanie Brunnthaler, Lena Kovar, Katharina Fellhofer; Julia Mak, Johanna Schneider (Jana Scharnbock 66).

Source: Google News Austria | Netizen 24 Austria


Posted by On April 02, 2018

Where To Ski or Snowboard in Austria Week Ending April 7th, 2018

Home » Where To Ski or Snowboard in Austria Week Ending April 7th, 2018Where To Ski or Snowboard in Austria Week Ending April 7th, 2018Scroll
Down STORY BY Patrick Thorne 2nd April 2018

Most of Austria’s ski areas are in their final days and weeks of their 2017-18 ski season and it’s looking like a snowy end to the season after a largely snowy winter.

The past week leading up to the Easter weekend saw increasingly heavy snowfall across most Austrian ski slopes.

Bad Gastein and Obergurgl both got around a foot (30cm) of snow over Easter weekend and it was snowier still at Nassfeld. That was after 20cm snowfalls earlier last week at resorts including Galtur and Heilgenblut.

Of course not all Austrian ski areas will be closing over the next few weekends. Most of the country’s 8 glacier ski areas will stay open to May, June or even later in the year and several other ski areas like Ischgl are open in to May.

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Source: Google News Austria | Netizen 24 Austria


Posted by On April 02, 2018

Thousands of Austrian-Turks may lose their citizenship rights

Apr 01 2018

Thousands of Austrian-Turks may lose their citizenship rights


Thousands of Austrian-Turks allegedly holding illegal dual-citizenship may be deported from Austria and lose all their Austrian citizenship rights, said BBC Turkish.

Austria's far right Freedom Party (FPOe), the coalition partner of the Austrian government, asks from 18,500 Austrian-Turks to prove that they do not hold Turkish citizenship.

95,000 people in Austria voted last year for the constitutional referendum in Turkey, 73 percent approved the constitutional changes with a turnout rate of 48 percent. "If I could decide I would no longer naturalize any Turks until we get all the information there is from Ankara about dual citizenships,” said the FPOe leader Norbert Hofer after the referendum.

FPOe later submitted the list of 95,000 voters to the Austrian Immigration Office and asked how many of them were Austrian citizens. The investigation showed that only 18,500 of those voters are citizens, while the others have residence permits. The Immigration Office only found 30 people who hold illegal dual-citizenship, yet the FPOe asks all 18,500 to prove that they are not also Turkish citizens. Those who fail to prove that they are not double-passport holders are at the risk of being deported and losing all their citizenship rights.

The legislation in Turkey allows people who perviously renounced Turkish citizenships to re-apply for citizenship. As a result some of the Turks in Austria apply to reacquire Turkish citizenship, after becoming Austrian citizens, according to BBC Turkish.


On binlerce 'Avusturyalı Türk' sınır dışı edilme tehlikesiyle karşı karşıya

Avusturya'da aşırı sağcı Özgürlük Partisi hükümeti, ülkede yaşayan 18 bin 500 Türkiye kökenli göçmenden "Türk vatandaşı olmadıklarını" kanıtlamalarını istiyor. Bunu resmî olarak kanıtlayamayanlar Avusturya vatandaşlığını kaybedecek ve sınır dışı edilme riskiyle karşı karşıya kalacak. Yusuf Özkan'ın haberi.

Source: Google News Austria | Netizen 24 Austria


Posted by On April 02, 2018

100 Iranians Remain Stranded In Austria Awaiting Asylum In The US

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An Iranian woman prays at St. Joseph's Cathedral in Tehran, Iran, a country where Christians and other religious groups have faced persecution. Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images

An Iranian woman prays at St. Joseph's Cathedral in Tehran, Iran, a country where Christians and other religious groups have faced persecution.

Atta Kenare/AFP/G etty Images

As Christians all over the world celebrate Easter weekend, dozens of fellow faithful are growing weary â€" waiting for the virtual gates of America's refugee services to reopen.

More than 100 Iranian Christians and members of other religions have been stranded in Austria for over a year, after the U.S. program that welcomes religious minorities from Iran has all but shut its door under President Trump, refugee advocates say. Eighty Iranians who traveled to Vienna expecting to be resettled in the United States have already been denied asylum in America. Others are awaiting final U.S. approval.

The rejection puts the applicants at risk, has angered members of Congress from both parties and devastated U.S. family sponsors.

"I get mad and start crying and my body starts shaking," says one of the relatives on a Skype call from Los Gatos, Calif. She did not want to use her name because she fears fo r the safety of her sister now stranded in Vienna and in danger of being sent back to Iran.

The threat looms after the United States denied her sister's asylum request and the Austrian transit visa is about to run out.

"I need my sister, I want her beside me," the family member wails, tears streaming down her face, as she sits in the offices of Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley.

The nonprofit has resettled many Iranian refugees over the years, including this woman and part of her family who came from Iran 15 years ago. They were shocked when this final member of the family was rejected.

Previously, the U.S. program that takes in members of repressed religious minorities from Iran and other countries with family in the United States had an almost 100 percent acceptance rate, according to HIAS, the nonprofit agency hired to facilitate the resettlements. But now, refugee advocates say, the U.S. is denying their asylum claims, risking their deportation to Iran where advocates and U.S. legislators say they could face imprisonment or other persecution.

The Trump administration has dramatically curbed refugee resettlement, lambasted immigrant family reunification programs and barred many citizens from Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, from traveling to the United States, citing national security concerns. At the same time, the administration has pledged to favor Christian refugees in the Middle East.

"The egregious part is twofold," says Betsy Fisher, project director for the International Refugee Assistance Project. "It's a violation of the administration's stated policy that it is going to focus on protecting religious minorities." The second part, she adds, is a humanitarian crisis, "completely of the U.S.'s making."

That crisis is now playing out in Austria's capital. The Iranian migran ts are marooned there after quitting jobs, selling homes and possessions and cutting ties with their home country, believing they were bound for a new life in the United States. Now, more than a year later, many are destitute and their future is uncertain.

"It keeps me and our staff awake at night because there is no answer right now," says Mindy Berkowitz, who heads Jewish Family Services of Silicon Valley.

"They can't go back to Iran and I don't know if they can stay in Vienna. It's so hard," she says.

Originally for Soviet Jews, expanded for Iranians

The government's specialized refugee program worked quietly for over a decade settling more than 30,000 Iranians in the U.S. The program follows rules set by Congress under the Lautenberg Amendment, which was originally passed for Jews escaping the Soviet Union. In 2004, Congress expanded the program for persecuted religious minorities from I ran â€" mostly Jews and Christians, but also Mandeans, Zoroastrians and Baha'is.

Under an agreement with Austria, the U.S. State Department selects applicants who travel to Vienna for final security checks that usually take weeks or a few months.

There have been no new candidates accepted since January 2017, despite more than 4,000 applicants currently waiting in Iran, says Fisher of the International Refugee Assistance Program.

"The U.S. government hasn't officially pulled the plug on the program, but I think it's fair to say that it's another example of the Trump administration de facto dismantling a program that was mandated by Congress," she says.

'Arrest or torture'

Some Congress members have been pushing back.

Massachusetts Democrat Jim McGovern and Illinois Republican Randy Hultgren sent a protest letter in February to Vice President Pence, accusing the administratio n of "thwarting the purpose of the law."

"Under no circumstance should those seeking refugee status be repatriated to Iran, where they could be subjected to arrest and torture," the bipartisan congressional human rights commission said.

The Congress members also demanded the program resume for Iranian religious minorities waiting in Iran and urged Homeland Security and the State Department to "take steps to prioritize and expedite any relevant security checks."

But, so far, there's been no official answer from the Trump administration, according to a congressional staffer speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to media about the issue. "It seems they are dragging their feet."

Berkowitz of Jewish Family Services says she has been fielding calls from frantic relatives.

Three out of those stranded in Vienna are related to immigrant families in and around Silicon V alley. Berkowitz says the uncertainty for them is excruciating. "When you have somebody who you love and you don't know what is going to happen to them and you are so worried for their safety," she says.

The State Department would not comment on the specific reason the asylum claims were denied in an email exchange with NPR. A State Department spokeswoman wrote that "changes to the program resulted in a greater number of denials."

Without the program, writer Roya Hakakian may have never resettled to the U.S. like she did in Connecticut over 30 years ago. She was a teenager when she and her family arrived in Vienna for the final security checks.

"I came with nothing from a hostile country and here I am, somebody who went to college, published books, made a life," Hakakian says.

Her welcome transformed her into a patriotic American, she says, a defender of what she insists are the country's core values.

"I think if the American light goes out there is very little hope for everyone else under persecution in other parts of the world," she says.

Hakakian is tracking the Iranians stranded in Austria. "If they are turned back I personally fear for their future," she says. "There is no telling what could happen to them."

Source: Google News Austria | Netizen 24 Austria


Posted by On April 02, 2018

Is Austria's far-right FPO losing support amid Nazi scandals?

A man of African origin walks past an FPO election campaign billboard [Sean Gallup/Getty Images]
A man of African origin walks past an FPO election campaign billboard [Sean Gallup/Getty Images]

An attache in Israel wearing a pro-Nazi t-shirt.

Councillors arrested for WhatsApp messages glorifying Nazi Germany.

A candidate forced to quit after news emerged he was heading a student fraternity that distributed a songbook with genocidal anti-Semitic lyrics.

These are just a few of the scandals that the Austrian government's junior coalition partner, the far-right Freedom Party of Austria (FPO), has been embroiled in so far this year.

In October 2017, the FPO clenched 26 percent of the vote in parliamentary elections.

It struck a deal in December to become the junior coalition partner to the right-wing Austrian People's Party (OVP).

In February, Oskar Deutsch, the leader of the Jewish Communities of Austria, cast doubt on the FPO's disavowals of anti-Semitic incidents involving party members.

"You can't go 'click' and say 'Until now we've been like this but now we're not anti-Semitic anymore, now we have other interests'," he told a press conference at the time. "That is not credible."

Yet, while the FPO has failed to reproduce its October success in three subsequent provincial elections and nationwide opinion polls, analysts have warned that it is likely too early to interpret the developments as a lasting trend.

Cas Mudde, an expert on far-right populism and associate professor i n the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia, said parties like the FPO often experience a decline in support following elections.

"The FPO's surge was also not that sudden, and its drop is not unexpected, as it often happens after a protest party enters government," he told Al Jazeera.

Embroiled in scandals

Although it has repeatedly claimed that it has abandoned its Nazi roots, the FPO has found itself struggling time and again against accusations of racism and anti-Semitism. Despite overtures to Israel, the FPO has been met with much scepticism and condemnation from the Austrian Jewish community.

Last month, the Austrian Foreign Ministry recalled an attache who had been based in Israel after he posted a Facebook photo donning a t-shirt emblazoned with the words "stand your ground" and "Frundsberg".

Jurgen-Michael Kleppich's shirt was ostensibly referencing Georg von Frundsberg, a 15th century mercenary whose surname was used by Nazi Germany's 10th SS Panzer division during the second world war, according to the German-language weekly Falter.

As a councillor in Vienna's district, Kleppich had previously posted images of his grandfather dressed in a swastika-bearing Nazi uniform, Falter reported at the time.

In Suben, an area of northwestern Austria, two FPO councillors were among six people targeted in a police raid conducted last month over allegations that they had shared Hitler photos and slogans via the WhatsApp messaging app. The party expelled the pair in response to the scandal.

In January, Udo Landbauer, a regional candidate for the FPO in Lower Austria, was engulfed in controversy after news emerged that a fraternity for which he was deputy co-chair distributed a songbook with lyrics calling for the genocide of Jews.


As the Falter magazine reported at the time, the songbook contained the lyrics: "In their midst comes the Jew Ben Gurion: 'Step on the gas, you ancient Germanic peoples, we'll manage the seventh million'."

The lyrics refer to David Ben Gurion, the primary founder of Israel, and the number of Jews killed during the Holocaust, which most historians agree is around six million.

With criticism mounting, Landbauer resigned from all political offices.

In October 2017, the FPO suspended a low-ranking official who had been accused of performing Nazi salutes.

Mudde explained that anti-Semitism and racism are not explicit components of the FPO's ideology, but argued that the party's leaders "pander to it because they believe it is important to mobilise part of its support base".

Loss of support

Founded in 1956 by former Nazis, the FPO has gained notoriety for its stridently anti-migrant and anti-Muslim positions.

The FPO first joined a government c oalition in 2000 after gaining 27 percent of the vote during parliamentary elections during the previous year.

Throughout the campaign leading up to those elections, the party was repeatedly lambasted for anti-Muslim and xenophobic rhetoric.

Farid Hafez, a senior fellow at Georgetown University's Bridge Initiative, explained that the FPO's latest spate of scandals highlights its failure to convincingly shed its past, but does not necessarily explain its recent loss of support.

"Anti-Semitism, as we can see with the last scandals, is still as much part of many of the rank and file as well as the leadership of the FPO," he told Al Jazeera, explaining that the party has focused its public ire on Muslims and refugees.

Since it joined the coalition in December, it has ostensibly suffered from a loss in support.

In early March, voters headed to the ballot box in Carinthia, the area bordering Italy and Slovenia and the only provi nce where the FPO came in first place during the October 2017 elections.

The SPO, however, came in first place, overwhelming the FPO's 22.9 percent of the vote by securing nearly 48 percent of the ballots.

In a recent press release, the party's secretary-general, Harald Vilimsky, dismissed speculation that it had lost support as "negative spin" pushed by the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPO) and its allies.

The FPO did not reply to Al Jazeera's request for a comment.

For his part, Hafez doubts the apparent decline in support has much to do with the FPO's ideology and its inability to avoid scandals.


"Although anti-Semitism and Islamophobia may not be the main drivers of the electorate to vote the FPO, the electorate gives their support at the ballot box despite knowing their racist attitudes," he said.

"If we can speak at all of a decline in the support for the FPO, then this is due to the working people realising that the FPO is not serving them but rather the middle and upper classes."

Widespread protests

The slumping support for the FPO comes amid a surge in anti-fascist and anti-racist protests that have decried the far-right party's nativism and ultra-nationalism.

On January 26, between 8,000 and 10,000 people assembled to rally against the FPO outside the party's annual ball, according to local media reports.

Chanting slogans against the FPO, demonstrators held up placards that read "resistance" and "don't let Nazis govern".

Rallies against the FPO's annual ball have been held every year since 2008.

Just two weeks before the ball, around 20,000 demonstrators had gathered in Vienna and called on Europe to boycott the OVP-FPO coalition.

That same month, Austria's interior minister, Herbert Kickl of the FPO, sparked widespread critici sm after declaring at a press conference that the country should "concentrate" asylum seekers in a single space.

Critics pointed to Austria's complicity in the Holocaust, during which tens of thousandswere killed in a death camp in Mauthausen-Gusen between 1938 and 1945.

When the FPO joined the governing coalition in December 2017, protesters flooded the streets to voice their disapproval.

But Hafez warned that anger at the FPO, comparably poor electoral performances and unfavourable opinion polls are most likely not indicators of a broad shift in society.

Explaining that the ruling OVP included the FPO in its coalition despite knowing the far-right party's ideology, Hafez noted that anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and racism are problems that plague many Austrian political parties, including the OVP and the SPO.


"There is no reason to believe that this [decline in support] is due to anybody waking up to the reality of the FPO's racism and anti-Semitism," he concluded.

"The electorate knows the FPO and its ideology, and it has always been fundamentally racist, depicting especially Jews and Muslims as the scapegoats of all social ills."

SOURCE: Al Jazeera News

Source: Google News Austria | Netizen 24 Austria


Posted by On Maret 07, 2018

Pope donates 100000 euros (£90000) towards first Orthodox monastery in Austria

07 March 2018 | by Christopher Lamb

Pope donates 100,000 euros (£90,000) towards first Orthodox monastery in Austria Share this story
Pope donates 100,000 euros (£90,000) towards first Orthodox monastery in AustriaPope donates 100,000 euros (£90,000) towards first Orthodox monastery in Austria

Patriarch Bartholomew praised Austria’s Orthodox Act - that Orthodox religion is taught at state schools - saying it was an 'important role model'

Pope Francis has donated 100,000 euros (£90,000) towards the first Orthodox monastery that is being built at St Andrä in Austria’s easternmost province of Burgenland.

At a festive ceremony in the Greek-Orthodox Holy Trinity Cathedral (“Dreifaltigkeitskathedrale”) in Vienna on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Austria’s Orthodox Act of 1967, - (the Roman Catholic Church enjoys special rights in Austria regulated in the Concordat but statutory enactments also regulate the state’s relationship to other Churches) â€" the President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, Cardinal Kurt Koch and the Bishop of Eisenstadt (capital of the Burgenland) Ägidius Zsifkovics presented the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I with the Pope’s donation.

The Orthodox Act of 1967 guarantees that Orthodox religion is taught at state schools, recognises existing Orthodox communities and allows new communities to be founded and regulates proprietary issues.

Patriarch Bartholomew praised Austria’s Orthodox Act saying it was an “important role model for Europe”. Religious freedom required a state framework and that was by no means something one could take for granted in the twenty-first century, he underlined.

Koch recalled that Pope Francis had supported the monastery project from its very beginnings and had in his turn recalled that Pope John Paul II had underlined the importance of Austria’s easternmost diocese’s bridge building function between the people of eastern and western Europe. “May the Pope’s building block (the donati on) incite many others to participate in the construction of this first Orthodox monastery in Austria through their prayers or material help”, Koch said.

Metropolitan Arsenios (Kardamakis) of Austria, the Greek-Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria and the whole of Africa, Theodoros II, Metropolitan Isaak (Barakat) of the Patriarchate of Antiochia, the Russian Orthodox Archbishop of Austria Antonij (Sevrjuk), Serb-Orthodox Bishop Andrej (Cilerdzic) and several Austrian bishops were also present.

There are around 450,000 Orthodox Christians from seven different Orthodox Churches in Austria. Since 2010, they have worked together in Austria’s Orthodox bishops’ conference.

PICTURE: Patriarch Bartholomew ©PA

Share this storySource: Google News Austria | Netizen 24 Austria