Little Asel, born on January 1 at 00:47 in a Viennese hospital, was greeted as the capital’s “New Year’s Baby.” But on the internet, the announcement was met with a barrage of hate posts about the girl’s name and her mother sporting a pink headscarf. Horrified, Klaus Schwertner, Secretary General of Caritas, called for a Blumenregen (flower rain) for Asel. Over 34,000 Austrians wrote messages of support, which were printed and handed over to Asel’s family. Flowers for the Blumenregen!
Austria’s new government plans to house asylum seekers in “primary care centers” on the outskirts of cities in the future. Herbert Kickl, Austria‘s newly-appointed Minister of the Interior (Freedom Party, FPÖ), explained that refugees should be “concentrated” (konzentriert) at designated places, sparking outrage domestically and abroad over both the plans and the extraordinarily insensitive language.