Obtaining Austrian citizenship is no easy task. It has some of the toughest laws in the EU, but a change in the law will hopefully make the whole process a little bit easier.
The recessions in Spain and Portugal have led to the immigration of skilled young people unable to find jobs, also known as ‘the brain drain’. Whilst some opt for fellow EU countries such as Austria, others are willing to go further afield such as Africa and Latin America and find work in their burgeoning economies.
Anyone familiar with the education system in Germany know the practice of ‘sitzenbleiben’ which means to repeat a school year. In some circumstances it is done when a pupil has only failed a couple of subjects. However, it seems that times are changing and repeating could be a think of the past.
Is staying back a year something that happens in your country?
Slavery is something we think of as being in the past, but it’s still happening today in the form of human trafficking, and even closer to home than we might like to think. Whether it is forced manual labour, childcare or prostitution, these vulnerable people often find it difficult to escape. Here are four stories of those who managed to get out, but there are still thousands of victims like these out there that still need our help.
Roma are a group that have often been discriminated against. The German city of Duisburg has had new Roma migrants from Romania or Bulgaria settling down in the last few years. Increased spending on welfare is pushing Duisburg to its limit. What can be done to solve the problem?
Last month I wrote about Scandinavian parents leaving their kids to nap outside in their prams. It seems the BBC is a fan of the Nordic childcare culture as it posted an article about night time childcare for parents who work shifts.
One interesting fact is that preschool fees are capped, meaning that the maximum amount a parent can be charged per month is SEK 1260 (€151). In some countries parents would have to fork out this much for merely a few days of childcare!
Affordable childcare means parents are able to go back to work, retrain, or go back to education. As one mother pointed out, Swedes do pay high taxes, but they get a lot in return.
What is childcare like in your country?
Within Europe, euthanasia is legal in Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and Switzerland.
Switzerland has been labelled as destinations for ‘suicide tourism’ with many German and some British citizens wishing to end their lives early due to disability, terminal illness or uncontrollable and unbearable pain.
Dignitas is one organisation who arrange accompanied suicides. Besides offering this they also offer suicide prevention for those who do not qualify.
What is the status of euthanasia in your country? Do you agree or disagree with the practice?
The Finnish fur industry is supported by the majority of Finns due to its supposed ‘high-welfare’ of the animals in question.
However, investigators have found that it is far from the truth and have filmed Finnish fur farms and the way it treats its animals.
Warning: the content is graphic.
(It should be noted that Finland is not the only European offender as many other countries partake in this industry).
It’s a question that often pops up amongst euro sceptics.
Here’s a video that may not sway them but sure gives a few answers to their question. The answers? A fair bit more than they give credit for!
(Although I would question safer to eat the food we buy, what with the recent scandals…)