Interior Ministry statistics released in September cited 580 neo-Nazi, right-wing extremist, xenophobic, or anti-Semitic incidents in 2010. The government continued to express concern over the activities of extreme right-wing and neo-Nazi groups, many with links to organizations in other countries.
An NGO operating a hotline for victims of racist incidents reported 745 complaints in 2010. It noted an increase in verbal abuse against women wearing headscarves.
In October a court in Styria Province acquitted a right-wing party official of charges of anti-Muslim incitement. The charges stemmed from an Internet pop-up game appearing on the party's Web site that allowed players to "gain points" by pasting stop signs on minarets and men in traditional Turkish attire. The public prosecutor appealed the verdict.
Human rights groups continued to report that Roma faced discrimination in employment and housing. The head of the Austrian Romani Cultural Association reported that the situation of the Romani community, estimated at more than 6,200 indigenous, and between 15,000 and 20,000 nonindigenous,
individuals, continued to improve. Government programs, including financing for tutors, helped school-age Romani children move out of "special needs" and into mainstream classes.
NGOs reported that Africans living in the country experienced verbal harassment in public. In some cases black Africans were stigmatized for perceived involvement in the drug trade or other illegal activities.
In response to criticism that it had failed to enforce Constitutional Court rulings regarding the Slovene minority's language rights in Carinthia Province, parliament on July 6 passed a law doubling the number of bilingual town signs, wider use of the Slovene language in administrative offices, and funding for Slovene cultural and educational institutions. Federal law recognizes Croats, Czechs, Hungarians, Roma, Slovaks, and Slovenes as national minorities.
The government continued training programs to combat racism and educate the police in cultural sensitivity. The Interior Ministry renewed an agreement with a Jewish group to teach police officers cultural sensitivity, religious tolerance, and the acceptance of minorities.
Poor German-language skills were a major factor preventing minorities from entering the workforce. The Labor Ministry continued efforts to combat this situation by providing German-language instruction and skilled-labor training to young persons with immigrant backgrounds.
In April the government appointed its first state secretary for integration. Reporting to the interior minister, the state secretary is responsible for coordinating the government's efforts to integrate the country's immigrants.