Austrians anticipate serious outcome from refugee crisis

Vienna, Jan 22 (IANS) The majority of Austrians expect serious economic consequences to arise in light of the ongoing refugee crisis, a survey from market research company OGM has revealed.

The results, to be published in business magazine Trend on Friday, show that 78 percent of the 500 survey respondents aged 16 and over expect an increase in unemployment to arise from the influx of asylum seekers, Xinhua reported.

A further 70 percent expect wages and incomes to drop, while 74 percent are anticipating an increase in the amount of illicit unemployment being engaged in.

Respondents also expected negative developments in location quality, productivity, and the supply of skilled labour.

Consumption was the only area in which positive economic development was expected as a result of the influx of people, as stated by 51 percent of the respondents.

Regarding the issue of whether asylum seekers should have the right to work, 49 percent believed they should not, while 40 percent thought they should be able to do so as soon as they have applied for asylum.

OGM CEO Wolfgang Bachmayer said the results show the Austrian population is “massively unsettled” by the refugee crisis, and questioned whether the limits to asylum seeker numbers announced by the government on Thrusday would help this, given that people are not only worried about a “future influx” but also about the long-term consequences that current and past immigration will have.

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