• Austria's news in English

Asylum halt slammed by rights experts

The Local · 15 Jun 2015, 11:52

Published: 15 Jun 2015 11:52 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muiznieks, said the move was the wrong way to respond to the problem and that Austria could not "waive its human rights obligations". 


Vienna needs to "stop the Austrian asylum express" and become less attractive to refugees, Johanna Mikl-Leitner told Die Presse newspaper on Friday. She has demanded that other countries adopt fixed quotas for taking in asylum seekers.

"So far there have been only isolated declarations of intent that do not bring us further," she said ahead of a planned meeting of interior ministers from the 28-nation EU on Tuesday.

Last month the European Commission said it would ease pressure on Italy and Greece, which are struggling to deal with thousands of immigrants crossing the Mediterranean from Libya, through an emergency scheme to redistribute 40,000 Syrian and Eritrean asylum-seekers throughout the EU.

The plan would see France and Germany take nearly 40 percent of the migrants, and both countries have raised concerns about the Commission proposals. Britain, which has an exemption in EU matters on immigration, has said it will not participate in the scheme.

Asylum requests for Austria rose nearly 160 percent in the first four months of the year to 14,225, government data show.

Mikl-Leitner said Austria, which has recently had to house hundreds of refugees in tents, is one of the fastest EU member states when it comes to handling asylum requests - making a ruling within four months on average.

Austrian refugee support groups called her decision to stop processing the asylum requests irresponsible.

The president of Austria’s Chamber of Commerce, Christoph Leitl, told Ö1 radio that Europe needs to invest in Africa in order to help impoverished people there establish a future. He also called for a "pan-European solidarity".

For more news from Austria, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Radioactive uranium rocks on display in Austrian schools
Uraninite crystals. Photo: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com/Wikimedia

Education officials have carried out urgent checks in schools across the country after one of the stones on display in a classroom turned out to be radioactive.

Austrian churches slam far-right's 'God' slogan
Campaign poster for Norbert Hofer. Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Austrian church officials have denounced far-right presidential candidate Norbert Hofer for "instrumentalising" God in a new slogan.

'Scary clown' pushes 14-year-old off his bike in Salzburg
Generic photo: Graeme Maclean/Flick

A 14-year-old boy in Salzburg has been injured after being pushed off his bike by an individual dressed as a scary clown.

Police puzzled by random stabbing of teenager in Vienna
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

A 15-year-old boy who was stabbed near his home in the Vienna district of Liesing on Friday morning by a complete stranger has spoken to the police.

'Sensational' 300-year-old Madonna found in Burgenland
The head of the statue was found beside the body. Photo: ORF

A 300-year-old statue of the Virgin Mary has been found hidden in a chapel next to a Catholic church in Loretto, Burgenland.

Baumgartner 'failed to mention Red Bull' before jumping to Earth
Felix Baumgartner. Photo: Red Bull Stratos

Felix Baumgartner has been accused of cheating his Red Bull sponsors after he failed to mention the energy drink just before he jumped to Earth.

Verdict on swimming pool rape case overturned
The Theresienbad swimming pool in Vienna. Photo: Wikimedia

An Iraqi refugee who was jailed after claiming it was a sexual emergency when he raped a boy in a swimming pool has had the sentence overturned.

Vienna Comic Con promises to be 'bigger and more galactic'
Cosplay star Yaya Han. Copyright: Yaya Han/Bryan Humphrey

Comic Con returns to the Austrian capital on November 19th-20th at the Messe Wien.

Three refugees arrested on drugs charges
Cannabis plants. Photo: J. Patrick Bedell/Wikimedia

A gang of three Afghani drug dealers has been busted in Vienna.

Hungarian woman crushed by snowcat piste machine
Snowcat machine. Photo: Melensdad/Wikimedia

A young Hungarian woman has died after being crushed by a snowcat piste machine on the Dobratsch mountain in Carinthia.

12 brilliant German words you won't find in English
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Five films which will change your mind about Austrian cinema
Those surprising Austrians!
100 years since the last emperor's death
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Der you learn Deutsch?
Delighted by the light
Beware these passport scams
Of course we skipped Oarsch
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
10 years after her escape from captivity
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
Europe's ice cream capital
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
How to make friends in Austria
jobs available