A controversial integration law that will fine women for wearing face-concealing Islamic dress from October, and deprive of benefits migrants who fail to take language lessons has officially been enacted, after being rubberstamped by the President.
“Those who are not prepared to accept Enlightenment values will have to leave our country and society,” reads the text of the law that drew thousands of protesters to the streets earlier this year, before it was passed by a centrist coalition last month.
Women who will wear Islamic veils – either the burqa or the niqab – in public places, will face a fine of €150 ($168).
More generally, newcomers who expect to stay in Austria, will need to enroll in a 12-month “integration course,” which includes German language lessons, if they are to receive their welfare benefits.
They will also be expressly forbidden from distributing incendiary radical materials, and are encouraged to volunteer before they can get their work permits, so that they are better prepared for life in the workplace.