I observed Austria’s national holiday today by leaving the country — for a few days, at least.
Austria probably prefers it that way: Earlier this week I made my annual pilgrimage to the Ministry of Making Life More Complicated For Foreigners (aka the bureau for residence permits) where, after seventeen years of law-abiding, productive, legal residence, I now had to have my fingerprints taken. And pay one hundred euros for the privilege.
UPDATE: Apparently it’s going in that direction all over Europe. From the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees:
Pursuant to Council Regulations (EC) nos. 1030/2002 and 380/2008 all EU member states are required to introduce the electronic residence permit. The aim is to standardise EU residence permits for third-country nationals and, by using biometric data, to strengthen the link between document and document holder, thereby preventing abuse.