Vienna, July 11 (IANS) Despite current concerns over unemployment, Austria will need more immigrants to fill job gaps in future, Minister for Social Affairs Rudolf Hundstorfer said here.
"Over the next eight years, we will have 170,000 fewer workers, because we are quite simply shrinking (in the size of the working population)," the Social Democratic Party (SPO) minister told the ORF-Morgenjournal.
Births will not make up the deficit, he said, as "there is no youth that will follow", reported Xinhua.
"Even if we keep our overall economic efforts upright, we will still need migration," he said.
He added that Austria would react to immigration actively and positively.
However, the opposition Freedom Party of Austria (FPO) and Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZO) said they did not believe more immigration was necessary, the Austrian Press Agency reported.
Social affairs spokesperson for the FPO Herbert Kickl said in a press release that Hundstorfer wanted to "use threatening scenarios to bring more foreigners into the country", but that "in reality it is not about keeping economic performance up, but rather about bringing in more potential SPO voters".
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