Austrian President Heinz Fischer admitted Wednesday that the number of asylum applications the country received in 2015 outpaced the number of births.
Speaking before the Council of Europe, Fischer delivered the data that showed there were approximately 88,000 asylum applications in 2015, compared to a birth rate of just 82,000 in 2014, The Associated Press reports.
For Fischer, this trend “cannot become a permanent state of affairs.”
In effect, the number of asylum applications comprises about 1 percent of the total population in Austria, which currently stands at 8.5 million people. Notably, many of the migrants counted in the figures do not remain in Austria permanently, but move around Europe.
Austria allowed 95,000 migrants into the country in 2015. On a per-capita basis, this is almost the highest acceptance rate in the entire European Union.
Asylum applications outpacing births is likely to fuel fears of impending demographic replacement and integration efforts that align the state against its own citizens — as was seen mostly clearly in the government’s attempted cover up of the sexual assaults in Cologne, Germany. Not only did the government work to downplay the coordinated assaults involving 1,000 Arab and North African men, but media reportedly went out of their way to brush off the incident for fear of providing additional force to right-wing elements in the country and sparking anti-refugee sentiment.
Already, Austrians are starting to push back against migrants. The Austrian Interior Ministry recently released data showing the number of attacks on migrants increased by 54 percent from 2014 to 2015.
“There is no doubt that the migrant issue has contributed to a polarisation of Austrian society and prompted a rise in offences,” said interior ministry spokesman Karl-Heinz Grundboeck, according to The Daily Mail.
The far-right has been galvanized in Austria, particularly through the vehicle of the Freedom Party (FPOe). To prevent the ascendance of FPOe and take the wind out of its sails, the existing coalition of Social Democrats and conservatives in Austria have pushed for the construction of border fences, in an effort to copy countries like Hungary.
The border fence in Hungary, which blocked off entrance from Serbia, virtually eliminated migrant flows overnight, based on figures released by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s administration in 2015.
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