VIENNA: Learner drivers in Austria will no longer be able to take their theory test in Turkish, the transport ministry announced on Saturday, blaming the cost of translating the exam.
Of the nearly 300,000 theory tests taken last year, only 3,631 were conducted in Turkish — or 1.2 percent of the total.
The ministry, which in Austria’s new coalition government belongs to the far-right Freedom Party (FPOe), said it was too expensive to maintain a test taken by a relatively small percentage of learners.
There are around 360,000 people of Turkish origin in Austria, including 117,000 Turkish nationals.
“Each additional language for training costs the state a five-figure sum that isn’t justifiable,” said transport minister Norbert Hofer.
Exams will however continue to be available in English, Croatian and Slovenian, he said.
“It’s naturally a question of costs but also for me it’s essential to clearly establish which languages it is sensible to have the exam in,” he said, adding that the scrapping of Turkish was “encouragement to learn German.”
The FPOe, which ran on an anti-immigration platform and which was founded by former Nazis, has several ministers in Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz’s government.—AFP