Tuesday’s World #2: AUSTRIA’S Chancellor calls for “safe zones” to address migrant crisis

Tuesday's World Events   —   Posted on January 9, 2018

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(from Deutsche Welle) – Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on (December 23) said the EU should consider other ways to tackle migration crises and formally end “failed” attempts at redistributing migrants across the EU under a quota system.

“Forcing states to take refugees doesn’t take Europe any further. The discussion makes no sense,” Kurz told the Saturday edition of Berlin-based newspaper Bild.

“Migrants who set off for Europe don’t want to go to Bulgaria or Hungary. They want to go to Germany, Austria or Sweden.”

More than one million people entered the EU illegally in 2015 and 2016, many of them fleeing conflict and extreme poverty in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. …Kurz, who before being elected Chancellor served as Austria’s foreign minister from 2013-17, has been a vocal critic of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door policy to refugees, saying it challenges the fabric of European society. At 31, he is the world’s youngest national elected leader.

Kurz has instead proposed that the EU consider providing support militarily to refugees by establishing secure conditions in their countries of origin, (a policy known as “safe zones”).

De-escalation zones, also known as “safe zones,” have been implemented in Syria since earlier this year. They represent areas in which warring parties agree to not engage in combat, consequently establishing a secure place for humanitarian groups to serve those displaced by conflict.

“If (redistributing refugees) isn’t possible, then they should be helped in safe areas on their own continent,” Kurz said. “The EU should support that, perhaps even organize it, and back it militarily.”

Last week, Kurz said in a Time magazine op-ed that the “robust control of the European Union’s external borders remains a prerequisite if we want to find sustainable solutions for the migration crisis.”

Published at German news Deutsche Welle (dw .com) on December 24, 2017.


1. For AUSTRIA, give the following information:

  1. capital
  2. location/the countries that share its borders
  3. the religious breakdown of the population
  4. the type of government
  5. the chief of state (and head of government if different) If monarch or dictator, since what date has he/she ruled? – include name of heir apparent for monarch
  6. the population

Find the answers at the CIA World FactBook website. For each country, answers can be found under the “Geography” “People” and “Government” headings.

NOTE: Before answering the questions below, read the info and watch the video under “Resources.”

a) list the who, what, where and when of the news item
b) What is significant about the recent election of Sebastian Kurz as Chancellor of Austria?
c) For what reason does Chancellor Kurz say the EU should consider alternate ways to address the migrant crisis? Be specific.
d) What solution does Kurz propose?
e) What are safe zones?
f) Consider this: The United Nations is committed to: maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights.
The U.N. takes in billions of dollars per year for the regular and peacekeeping budget ($5 billion from U.S. which is 22% of the regular budget), plus voluntary contributions (the U.S. gives about $3 billion)


What is the difference between a migrant and a refugee? For an explanation, read "Migrant v. refugee"