Austria will allow in maximum of 80 asylum seekers a day
The Austrian foreign minister defended the move though a top European Union immigration official said the decision violates international law.
Austria announced that it will not allow more than 80 refugees seeking asylum into the country per day starting Friday, reported Associated Press. Even as European Union's migration chief Dimitris Avramopoulos called it a violation of international law, Austria's Foreign Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner defended the decision. "Austria has a legal obligation to accept any asylum application that is made on its territory or at its border," Avramopoulos said reacting to the news of a cap.
On Thursday, Mikl-Leitner said that Austria could surely not be the first safe country" for those fleeing war and unrest in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Austria had announced in January that it would take in only 37,500 asylum seekers this year as against 90,000 migrants accepted in 2015. Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann said that in 2015, Austria had far more asylum requests than Italy and France, which are ''much bigger than Austria''.
AFP reported that pressure to enforce a joint action plan by the European Union was growing with thousands of refugees crossing the Aegean Sea every day, fleeing countries hit a civil crisis and Islamic State militants. However, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic are in favour of sealing their borders from Greece to prevent the entry of refugees. Austria has also joined the four countries, called the V4, in their call for tighter border control.