• Austria's news in English

EU quotas 'only way to solve refugee crisis'

The Local · 8 Sep 2015, 10:37

Published: 08 Sep 2015 10:37 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania have rejected the idea of quotas - saying they would be futile if the EU's outer borders cannot be defended.

As refugees continue to arrive in Vienna after crossing the Hungarian border, city authorities have said that a total of 27,000 tonnes of donations, including food, clothes and children’s toys, were taken to Westbahnhof train station over the weekend.

540 volunteers coordinated by the Catholic aid charity Caritas helped sort and distribute them. 16,000 refugees poured into the station, and a further 4,000 arrived at Vienna’s other major train station Hauptbahnhof where a team of self-organised volunteers have set up beds for refugees to rest and are distributing food, clothes and first aid.

"What the volunteers and interpreters have done is stunning," said Peter Hacker, Vienna’s Refugee Coordinator. 1,500 refugees stayed overnight in Vienna on Saturday after they were unable to continue onto Germany, and were provided with beds by the Austrian Railways and the City of Vienna. The Stadthalle events centre, which hosted the Eurovision Song Contest in May, has also offered to set up beds if needed but so far that hasn’t been necessary.

According to the Interior Ministry, around 600 people claimed asylum in Austria over the weekend, more than had been expected. More than 18,000 people chose to travel onto Germany which has said it will accept asylum applications from Syrian refugees regardless of which EU country they first arrived in. Under the so-called Dublin rules refugees must claim asylum in the first EU country they arrive in.

Meanwhile, on Monday the European Commission announced that it would be providing Austria with €5 million, as an emergency fund to support looking after the influx of refugees.

Immigration and Interior Commissioner Dmitris Avramopolous said that the aid to Vienna is an emergency measure intended to bolster its capacity in view of the increasing flow of undocumented persons.


A convoy of around 150 cars which set off for the Hungarian border on Sunday to pick up refugees and bring them back to Vienna went smoothly, and police said no one was arrested or charged. There had been fears the drivers of the cars could be prosecuted for people-smuggling under Hungarian or Austrian law.

On Tuesday, hundreds of migrants broke through police lines on Hungary's border with Serbia and started walking towards the capital, Budapest.

A crowd funding site has been set up to help refugees fleeing Syria and other countries get to their desired destination.

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
'UFO' sightings in skies above Vienna and Graz
File image of an alleged UFO. Photo: Flickr/Dimapolo

Worried Austrians called police and posted videos online after sighting a UFO-like device above the capital Vienna.

Austrian police rescue 47 puppies from animal smuggler
Photo: Landespolizeidirektion Burgenland

Austrian police have seized 47 puppies found in a car at the Hungarian border.

Call for FPÖ chief's Facebook page to be shut
Heinz-Christian Strache. Photo: Facebook/Personal

The Austrian lawyer who filed a criminal case against the leader of the Freedom Party for inciting hatred has called for his Facebook page to be shut down.

Female terror suspect 'planned suicide attack'
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Police have arrested the wife of a Chechen terror suspect after they found evidence that the pair were planning a suicide attack in Austria.

'Death must be Viennese', and not just at Halloween
Prater amusement features memento mori. Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Dominik Creazzi, "Paranormal Investigator" embossed on his jacket, strains his ears among the decaying tombstones of Vienna's central cemetery, the last resting place of three million mortals from Beethoven to "Rock Me Amadeus" singer Falco.

ECJ puts brakes on deportation of Iraqi family
Photo: ORF

An Iraqi family threatened with deportation has been granted a brief reprieve after the European Court of Justice recommended they be allowed to stay in Austria for the time being.

Flats evacuated after man swallows explosive substance
A decontamination squad was ordered in. Photo: MA 68 Lichtbildstelle

A block of flats in Vienna had to be evacuated after a suicidal resident swallowed a highly toxic and explosive substance.

'Horror clown' threatens bus driver in Vienna's Donaustadt
Pennywise, the original scary clown from the movie It. Photo: Warner Bros

A man disguised as a ‘horror clown’ threatened a bus driver in Vienna’s Donaustadt district and vandalised the bus.

Man lived with body of murdered lover for weeks

A man has been arrested in Graz after police discovered the body of his girlfriend hidden in the shower cubicle of their rented apartment.

Austrian far-right leader brands Merkel 'dangerous'
Heinz-Christian Strache. Photo: Facebook/Personal

The head of Austria's far-right Freedom Party has branded Angela Merkel Europe's most dangerous politician.

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