Austrian Finance Minister asks EU aid to cover refugee costs

Austria’s Finance Minister seeks EU aid to cover refugee costs as the country accepts more refugees

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Austrian Finance Minister Hans Joerg Schelling talks during a session of the parliament in Vienna, Austria, January 27, 2016.

Finance Minister of Austria Hans-Joerg Schelling has asked a  600 million euros ($670 million) financial aid by the European Commission in order to cover the costs of accepting more refugees in the country.

Austria has taken in a bigger amount of refugees than expected. Budgeted for 35,000 asylum seekers annually at a cost of 11,000 euros per person, it accepted some 90,000 refugees in 2015, Schelling wrote in a letter to the head of the EU executive, Jean-Claude Juncker.

"Concerning the migration crisis it is high time the Commission returned to its normal function as an independent institution representing the general Community interest and start acting as such," Schelling wrote.

Austria and neighbouring Germany threw open their borders last year to hundreds of thousands of people pouring into Europe, many of them fleeing conflicts in Syria and elsewhere.

Austrian government has decided to carry out at least 50,000 deportations. It caused a rise of support for the far right in Austria. Last week Vienna said it would step up deportations of migrants to countries it deems safe. 



TRTWorld and agencies