Austria-Czech SIG #Austria-Czech (Austria) Update on Legislation Permitting Dual Citizenship for the Descendants of Austrian Holocaust Survivors #austria-czech


Jan Meisels Allen
 

On November 5, 2018 I posted about the confirmation I received >from the
Austrian General Counsel to the United States in Washington DC about an
amendment to the Austrian Citizenship Law amendment introduced as Private
members' Bill on 25 October 2018. Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz
announced the proposal in November. To read the bill supported by the
government and introduced on October 25 see:
https://www.parlament.gv.at/PAKT/VHG/XXVI/A/A_00438/index.shtml) It is in
German and to translate it, use a service such as google translate:
https://translate.google.com

Two different Israeli newspapers have varying stories about what is
happening in the Austrian Parliament regarding this bill. The Times of
Israel states that Austrian Government remains fully committed to advancing
citizenship of descendants of Austrian Holocaust victims, rebuffing a report
that claims that parts of the ruling coalition were stalled on the reform.
The Austrian Ambassador to Israel, Martin Weiss, said, " Amending the
Austrian Citizenship Law in order to extend the Austrian citizenship to
Shoah victims' descendants enjoys wide support by all political parties
represented in the Austrian Parliament. The government in Vienna remains
fully committed to advancing legislation granting citizenship to the
descendants of Austrian Holocaust victims, Austrian officials insisted,
rebuffing a report claiming that parts of the ruling coalition were stalling
on the promised reform."

"Amending the Austrian Citizenship Law in order to extend the Austrian
citizenship to Shoah victims' descendants enjoys wide support by all
political parties represented in the Austrian Parliament," Martin Weiss, the
country's ambassador in Tel Aviv, told The Times of Israel.
"It is true that the current overhaul of the Austrian Citizenship Law, of
which this provision is part of, is a slow process. However, amending basic
citizenship laws is - entirely unrelated to the issue of extending the
Austrian citizenship to Shoah victims' descendants - always a politically
sensitive process," he added.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the plan to give descendants of
Holocaust victims Austrian citizenship "was stymied" by the far-right
Freedom Party. Haaretz said the proposed bill would "be saying it would set
a precedent for other foreigners. The precedent would be," unprecedented
because it would allow these children and grandchildren of Holocaust victims
to hold dual citizenship, although Austrian law doesn't currently permit
this. The opposition plans to introduce a similar bill on Thursday to force
the government to address the delay."

Opposition leader Pamela Rendi-Wagner of the Social Democratic Party favors
the proposal, saying it is aimed at correcting the injustice committed
against former Austrian citizens. She added that December 2018 was an ideal
time to pass this legislation.

According to Haaretz, Kurz's leading coalition partner is the Freedom Party,
which was founded by neo-Nazi activists in the 1950s and since then has come
to represent the extreme right-wing of Austria's political system.

To read the two Israeli newspaper articles see:
https://www.haaretz.com/world-news/europe/.premium-austrian-right-stalls-gra
nting-citizenship-to-holocaust-victims-descendants-1.6743056
and
https://www.timesofisrael.com/vienna-says-still-wants-to-give-citizenship-to
-descendants-of-holocaust-victims/

Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee

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