Two young Austrians offer refugees ticket to ride

Two young Austrians offer refugees ticket to ride
By Robert Hackwill with ANDREA HAJAGOS.
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Taking time off work two young Austrians, a chef and a chimney sweep, are ferrying refugees to Vienna for free and helping them out of their own pockets


Refugees on the Austrian border at Nickelsdorf are facing tough choices as they struggle to get to Vienna, the jumpoff point for those wanting to continue to Germany.

Those with money can take buses, but many fear they are only going to be used to move them somewhere else. But what to do if they have no money left? Two young Austrians have risen to the challenge.

“I began coming here a week ago with a friend, I started by taking a Syrian family together with my friend. There were two babies, a young girl, and the mother and father. We used our own money to support them, to give them food and clothes and they could wash at our place,” says Johann Steiner.

Those with a little more money can take one of the taxis from those queuing for custom. But some drivers are demanding astronomical prices. One was asking 800 euros for the 70-kilometre trip.

“I never asked them for money. I don’t take any money from people who don’t have any. We have so much in Europe and we can give enough. And if other people take money from them that’s a crime in my opinion,” says Bernhard Egger-Sauer

People traffickers dominate the headlines, so it is heartwarming to see this pair, and a few others like some holidaymakers in Greece who have been pitching in on the beaches, put people before profits.

“These cars and taxis are all waiting to take the refugees to Vienna, for the right price. Many refugees choose this more expensive way of traveling instead of the buses because they are afraid they will be taken to refugee camps,” reports euronews’ Andrea Hajagos.

The two men admit that their effort has cost them thousands of euros already, and would like some support from the wider community as they do not know how long they can keep it up.

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