According to the foreign minister, proficiency in German must become a gateway to Austrian society.
Immigrant children and others “who have little or no command of German” would have to attend kindergarten one year longer than their Austrian peers, he said.
Kurz claimed these establishments isolated children linguistically and culturally and were paid for with taxpayers’ money.
“Quality criteria” for childcare workers should also be introduced to improve the standards of language proficiency.
Consequently, many Arab or Chechen kindergartens will fail to meet the requirements for state benefits and will be left with no choice but to close, Kurz said, adding, “This is the easiest way in terms of the law.”
In the meantime, the government “does very much” to improve integration efforts, Kurz said. He added, however, that success “depends very much on the number of those [who should be] integrated.”
Kurz, the youngest foreign minister in the EU at the time of his swearing-in back in 2013, has previously advocated putting more curbs on immigration. In March, he proposed the opening of refugee centers outside the European Union, suggesting the Republic of Georgia and countries of the Western Balkans as possible locations.
Last year, he also made some incendiary remarks on refugees being rescued on their way across the Mediterranean, saying a rescue from a boat in distress should be “no ticket to Europe.”