Austria. After Austria received close to 90,000 asylum seekers during the great wave of migrants in Europe 2015 and Chancellor Werner Faymann long defended the generous refugee policy, the rules were tightened step by step from the beginning of the year.
The government decided to limit the number of asylum seekers to be accepted to 127,000 in four years. Then a ceiling was set for how many people could apply for asylum per day and for how many asylum seekers who would be allowed to pass through the country daily. A decision was also made to build the border fence to keep migrants out. In April, a disputed law was passed which meant that most asylum seekers could be rejected directly at the border with the help of an emergency permit. In addition, granted asylum would only last for three years.
According to countryaah, the current population of Austria is 9,006,409. The ruling large coalition between the Social Democratic SPÖ and the Conservative People’s Party (ÖVP) suffered a major defeat when the first round of the presidential election was held in April. The candidates for the two parties that dominated politics throughout the post-war period – and dared to occupy the mainly ceremonial presidential post – received only 11% of the votes each, finishing fourth and fifth respectively. Most votes were given to Norbert Hofer, candidate for the right-wing populist Freedom Party (FPÖ), followed by the independent Alexander Van der Bellen, who had the support of the Greens, as well as an independent candidate. That meant a rant that echoed throughout Europe that Austria could be on the verge of voting for a head of state that represented a party with roots in Nazism.
Shortly afterwards, Chancellor Faymann resigned unexpectedly, citing that his party SPÖ was divided on several important issues. New Chancellor and SPÖ leader became former railway manager Christian Kern.
In the second round of the presidential election in May, Van der Bellen won by only 31,000 votes. But the FPÖ appealed the result and the Constitutional Court annulled it. A new round of elections was to be held in October but had to be postponed when it was discovered that the voting envelope could not close due to substandard adhesive. When the election was finally held on December 4, Van der Bellen won with 53% of the vote. According to thereligionfaqs, the Austrians thus became the first in the world to elect an environmentalist as head of state.
Near a Celtic settlement, the Romans built approx. 100 possibly the legion camp Vindobona at the border of the Roman Empire. The civil settlement that arose in connection with this was elevated to municipium in the early 200’s. In the late 300’s, Vindobona was burned down, and little is known about its history in the following centuries.
During the migration period, there was a settlement here, which in a written source from 881 is first mentioned as Wenia. In the 10th century, the area was under Hungarian rule, and the city was then called Becs (ie ‘on the steep edge’), as Vienna is still called in Hungarian and in Serbo-Croatian.
In 1156 the Margraves of Babenberg settled in the town; they had begun to expel the Hungarians and thus expand the southeastern border area of the German Empire, which they had acquired as a county.
Vienna soon began to flourish, both culturally and economically, especially after the Babenbergs were able to expand and fortify Vienna for part of the ransom they had obtained by capturing the English King Richard I Lionheart on his way home from Palestine.. The Babenbergs died out in 1246. King Rudolf I of Habsburg made Vienna his capital in 1278.
The 16th and 17th centuries were marked by the expansion of the Ottoman Empire and by religious struggles. In 1529, the Ottomans (Turks) besieged the city for the first time, but failed to occupy it. The Ottoman rule over nearby Hungary meant that Vienna lost importance as a trading hub. In 1551, the Jesuits were called in to fight Protestantism, but it took 80 years before the Protestants were expelled from the city.
After the Thirty Years’ War and after the second and most serious Ottoman siege in 1683 had been averted, the Habsburgs characterized the cityscape with many Baroque-style buildings.
Joseph II’s reforms eased religious coercion – the Jesuits were thus expelled in 1773 – but at the same time strengthened bureaucracy (see Josephine Finism). Napoleon occupied the city in 1805 and again in 1809, and after his fall, the Congress of Vienna 1814-1815 established Europe’s political reorganization.
During the revolution of 1848, fierce street fighting took place in Vienna. The revolution was brutally crushed, but heralded a period of liberalization and some industrialization, accompanied by a sharp expansion of the city of Vienna and growing social misery.
The Christian-social politician Karl Lueger, as mayor of the city from 1897-1910, carried out the first social reforms, but his policy was also marked by the prevailing anti-Semitism, which from the 1880’s became racist and no longer religiously justified.
When the last Habsburg emperor, Charles I, resigned in 1918, Vienna was no longer the center of a large empire with many peoples, but the oversized capital of a small nation-state.
In the 1920’s, the Social Democrats carried out a series of reforms, in particular a major housing program, which the fascist currents after 1933 marked the end of. At the incorporation of Austria into Germany in 1938 (Anschluß), Hitler gave his famous speech at Vienna’s Heldenplatz, and in 1945 he left a city controlled by the four allies, where a fifth of the buildings were destroyed.
Since Austria’s independence in 1955, changing governments have focused on making Vienna a magnet for tourists interested in art and culture, a conference center and home to international organizations.
Among other things. have OPEC, OSCE and various UN organizations such as the International Atomic Energy Agency IAEA, their headquarters in Vienna. Since the end of the Cold War for approx. 1990 and a political right turn in Austria by the end of the 1990’s, the city, whose citizens traditionally vote Social Democratic, has continued to play its old role as a Central European language and culture mediator between East and West.