Austrian Official: Learn German, Or Work For One Euro An Hour

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Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz greets displaced Iraqi children, who fled with their families from violence in Mosul, during his visit to a camp in Makhmur, Iraq on July 16, 2016. (Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images)

Sebastian Kurz, Austria’s minister for integration and foreign affairs, is proposing that migrants take one-euro-an-hour jobs serving food at refugee camps until they’ve learned German. That’s about $1.13 an hour.

Those who don’t learn German and attend integration classes would see their government benefits slashed.

Last year Austria had more than 85,000 asylum seekers, and the European migrant crisis has become an election-year issue there. Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti talks with Máiréad Nic Craith, a professor at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland, about how our perception of others often hinges on the language they speak.


Máiréad Nic Craith, anthropologist and chair in European culture and heritage at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. She tweets @mairead_nc.

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