INTRODUCTION: Austria's border with Poland has been officially closed, but a huge influx of Polish refugees has flowed across the frontier in the last few weeks.
GV Viennese street.
GV INTERIOR Government and other officials seated at conference table. (4 SHOTS)
GV Austro-Polish border.
GV INTERIOR Refugees. (2 SHOTS)
GV Chancellor Bruno Kreisky.
GVs Gifts an supplies for Poland. (3 SHOTS)
SV Women in street talking about Polish problems. (2 SHOTS)
GV INTERIOR Viennese children bringing Christmas presents for Poles. (3 SHOTS)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Austria's border with Poland has been officially closed, but a huge influx of Polish refugees has flowed across the frontier in the last few weeks. The Poles crossed into Austria before the crisis brought travel restrictions and martial law. There are almost 50,000 Polish refugees in Austria some of whom did not register for political asylum because they thought they might return home after a short stay.
SYNOPSIS: The Austrian government has decided on a massive aid scheme for Polish refugees. Every Austrian agency, both government and private, involved in social welfare, is taking part. The government is matching all donations with a sum from the Treasury. Two weeks ago, the Austrians closed the Polish border. The government has spent more than one hundred million dollars on refugees this year (1981) and resentment among the Austrian people is growing. This anger has abated, however, since the Polish government imposed martial law.
The Austrian people are giving the refugees clothing, food, shelter and money. since the refugees face a bleak Christmas, Austrians have reacted generously. Chancellor Kreisky has re-opened the border. The Church has helped by organising cheap accommodation, and weekly hot meals. Many Poles are living in squalid rooms.
Children are also bringing Christmas gifts. The refugees face a future of uncertainty and most have the anxiety of worrying about relatives left behind. They wait anxiously for news from the beleaguered country.