Austria and Germany have sent back more than 5,000 refugees, advising them to ask for asylum from the first safe countries they enter, Reuters has reported.
According to the Interior Minister Johanna Milk-Leitner said that the refugees have mainly been sent to Bulgaria and Romania.
"If I remember rightly, we have sent more than 5,000 or 5,500 back from Austria, especially to Bulgaria and Romania among others," Johanna Mikl-Leitner told journalists at a meeting in Germany of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives.
"For a functioning asylum system, you need an effective return policy, and there's still a lot of work to do on this, especially with regard to north African countries," she said.
Milk-Leitner said that the refugees had not applied for asylum in countries like Slovenia and Croatia as they passed through them even though those countries are safe. This could mean that the refugees will be considered economic migrants.
"If refugees come from Slovenia and Croatia to Austria and apply for asylum in Austria ... then we'll take them back to Croatia and Slovenia," she said.
The Hungarian government seems to view Austria’s move negatively as it believe that it will have to deal with more refugees.