Hundreds of rowdy rioters, mostly young people and with a migration background, threw firecrackers, stones and bottles at passers-by and police officers on Halloween night and at times caused chaos on Linzer Landstrasse. Until the executive rounded up the violent perpetrators and put an end to the goings-on. The following evening, firecrackers flew again.
The State Security Council, which was specially convened by Governor Thomas Stelzer, met on Friday. The result was first and foremost a clear message: “We don’t want to let such chaotic people damage our peaceful coexistence. Everyone who is responsible doesn’t want to see these pictures anymore. A democratic state that takes itself seriously must always be in control of the situation”, emphasized Stelzer. Details in the video:
All those involved were reported, which made it immediately clear that violence does not remain without consequences. “I rely on our independent judiciary”said the governor.
More powers for the police
In addition to Stelzer, Deputy Governor Manfred Haimbuchner (FP) and Linz Mayor Klaus Luger (SP) agreed that the police should be given more powers by law. State police director Andreas Pilsl explained the problem: The executive should not just appear on the Internet “patrol” go and monitor profiles on social networks like TikTok without suspicion, for example. The principle of legality allows the police only surveillance measures that are expressly permitted by law. Interior Minister Gerhard Karner (VP) has set up a task force to deal with violent young people, which Pilsl is to lead.
Another measure concerns prevention: the state wants to examine existing integration measures closely. For this purpose, Integration Provincial Councilor Wolfgang Hattmannsdorfer (VP) should bring all responsible institutions of the state and the city of Linz on board and determine “what works and what doesn’t work”. In the case of the 130 suspects who have been identified, it should be looked into exactly what has happened so far in terms of care and integration.
Criticism of EU policy
Stelzer criticized the EU policy: “Many words have been spoken since 2015. Nevertheless, a landlocked country like Austria has to take in hundreds of people every day.” I can’t “to infinity” go on like this. Scenes like those in Linz are “clear consequence of a failed migration policy. The boat is full”, said Haimbuchner. The FP have “warned about it since the 1990s.” The right of asylum must “be questioned nationally and internationally”said Haimbuchner and made drastic demands: “We must withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights.” Mayor Luger criticized that young people would wait for years in the asylum process and at the same time “underemployed” be. He demanded that asylum seekers should be obliged to work if they claim basic services or other social benefits.
reactions and quotes
“It is a failure of the EU that a landlocked country like Austria has to take in hundreds every day. This can not go on like this.” – Thomas Stelzer, Governor (VP)
“The images from Halloween night are the result of failed migration policies. We’ve been warning about it since the 90s. The boat is full.” – Manfred Haimbuchner, LH deputy (FP)
“We are not willing to subordinate even a part of our peaceful coexistence to some violent people. The police should be upgraded.” – Michael Lindner, SP chairman
“We need to invest in youth social work and job projects now, this will save us a lot of money and a lot of trouble in the future.” – Anne-Sophie Bauer, MEP (Greens)
“We have to make it clear to these young people that they have prospects and are welcome and that they have to abide by the rules.” – Felix Eypeltauer, club chairman (Neos)
“Civil war-like conditions prevailed for hours. When it comes to asylum, the time to look the other way and talk nice is over now.” – Joachim Aigner, MFG Chairman
Pictures of the operation on Halloween evening: