Austria says it will cut refugee quotas further

Austria announces it will have to reduce number of refugees it allows in despite EU anger

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Refugees arrive at the Austrian-Hungarian border station of Hegyeshalom, Hungary, September 5, 2015.

Austria said on Friday it would have to introduce even stricter limits to refugees in the future despite European Union's rebuke of its refugee policy.

Austria declared it would allow in no more than 3,200 refugees a day, regardless of whether they intend to go to Germany or apply for asylum in Austria, and would introduce a daily limit of 80 asylum requests.

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann said, "Politically I say we'll stick with it. Sweden and Germany will have to speak for themselves but it's unthinkable for Austria to take on the asylum seekers for the whole of Europe."

"After 100,000 refugees we can't tell the Austrian people that it will just continue like this," he added.

European Union Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos warned the Austrian government on Thursday that a daily cap on refugees would violate EU law.

Austria's Interior Minister Johanna Mikl Leitner told reporters, "I am very happy with our decision and we will stick to it."

She said Austria had accepted nearly 11,000 asylum claims so far in 2016 and his country would only receive 37,500 asylum applications this year as planned.

"(So) we will have to reduce these upper limits further." she said.

More than 1 million people reached the European Union in 2015 and some 84,000 have arrived so far this year.

Most of the refugees who are seeking asylum come from war-torn countries such as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Austria, Germany and Scandinavia are the main destinations for refugees who have entered Europe with the intention of seeking asylum.

TRTWorld and agencies