A decision on tightening the prohibition law could possibly be made this year. The amendment, which aims to ensure the necessary constitutional majority in the Justice Commission, was approved not only by the coalition parties, but also by SPÖ and NEOS. Anyone who spreads or wears National Socialist or other symbols banned in Austria will have to expect much higher penalties in the future.
This also applies to the symbols of Hamas, Gray Wolves and PKK. In addition, the trivialization of the Holocaust and other National Socialist atrocities (not just the “grave” ones) will be punished in the future. The amendment to the Prohibition Law also makes it easier to punish crimes committed abroad and confiscate Nazi memorabilia.
The FPÖ justified its rejection of the amendment by saying that, in its view, the amendment was excessive on two points: the automatic dismissal of civil servants convicted under the Prohibition Act and the easier confiscation of Nazi memorabilia. These can be confiscated in the future even if they are not related to a crime.
This means wedding photos of the grandfather in his military uniform may also be confiscated, justice spokesman Harald Stefan explained in a release. Commenting on the officers’ sacking, the Liberal MP said: “This means that a convicted sex offender who has inflicted serious, lifelong suffering on a child, or someone who has sanctioned Hamas’ terrorism, can continue to work as a civil servant. He has been convicted under the prohibition act but has a minimum as one might do without being subject to punishment.”
Minister of Justice Alma Zadic (Greens) talked about a historical novel. He emphasized that the last significant reform of the prohibition law occurred more than 30 years ago. The SPÖ had initially waited to give approval because it was skeptical about the possibility of adults also lingering. However, these concerns have been taken into account in the currently planned target diversion programs. NEOS found that in many cases targeted programs for defendants would achieve much more than prison sentences, particularly as there is a greater risk of radicalization in prisons.