Austrian Minister Demands Fines for Turks Illegally Holding Dual Citizenship

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Acquiring a second citizenship is illegal in Austria. After the referendum in Turkey, the Austrian interior minister additionally called for fining Austrian Turks for obtaining it.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Austrian Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka said Wednesday he would seek hefty fines for ethnic Turks holding Austrian citizenship who illegally obtain a second passport.

"Those who illegally acquire Turkish citizenship lose the Austrian one. That’s the law. But there is no punishment for it. We want to change that," the minister said ahead of a cabinet meeting.

Austria does not allow dual citizenship except when a person obtains two of them at the time they are born. Acquiring a foreign citizenship leads to automatic repeal of Austrian nationality.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters during a rally for the upcoming referendum, in Izmir, Turkey, April 9, 2017. - Sputnik International
Erdogan: Turkish Referendum Results Victory Against 'Crusaders'
But Sobotka argued Turkish natives should also be forced to pay up to 5,000 euros ($5,357) in fines. He said he made this proposal after the majority of some 200,000 Turks living in Austria voted in last Sunday’s referendum to expand the Turkish president’s powers.

The local newspaper Krone reported that the proposal had run into opposition from Austria’s ruling Social Democratic Party (SPO). The far-right Freedom Party (FPO), whose candidate lost Austrian presidency bid in 2016, said the result of the Turkish referendum showed the integration of Turks who arrived in the 1970-80s as guest workers had failed.

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