• Austria's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Asylum Crisis
Kurz: Repatriation row 'endangers aid'
Sebastian Kurz with Tedros Adhanom, foreign minister of Ethiopia. Photo: Austrian FM

Kurz: Repatriation row 'endangers aid'

The Local/AFP · 4 Feb 2016, 11:53

Published: 04 Feb 2016 11:53 GMT+01:00

"We in Europe need to finally start stepping up pressure if we want the repatriation system to work properly," Sebastian Kurz told national broadcaster Oe1.

The conservative politician specifically mentioned Morocco, Tunisia and Pakistan, which he said were allocated a large chunk of the bloc's annual €11 billion ($12-billion) aid budget.

"At the moment, the EU gives €480 million to Morocco and €414 million to Tunisia every year, and yet these countries refuse to take back asylum seekers," Kurz said.

Germany's vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel last month said EU aid should be withdrawn if a migrant's country of origin fails to cooperate on repatriation.

Kurz said he wants the proposal to be discussed at the next EU summit on February 18 and 19.

The bloc is grappling with its worst migrant crisis since World War II, and the flow of people fleeing war and poverty shows no sign of abating despite wintry weather conditions along the so-called Balkan migrant route.

In 2015, over a million people reached Europe's shores -- nearly half of them Syrians fleeing a brutal civil war that has killed more than a quarter of a million people.

Austria, a country of nearly nine million people, last year received 90,000 asylum claims, one of the highest rates per capita in the EU.

Story continues below…

In response to the influx, Vienna announced last month it would drastically cap the number of asylum seekers and deport at least 12,500 people in 2016.

Austria's new Defence Minister Hans Peter Doskozil on Thursday slammed the EU border agency for lacking in action and being "way too bureaucratic".

"We need to discuss how to put into a place a European civilian and military mission" to protect the bloc's external frontiers in Greece, Doskozil told Austrian newspaper Kurier on Thursday.

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

The Local/AFP (news.austria@thelocal.com)

Today's headlines
Intoxicated man demanded officer's gun at Graz airport
View of Graz airport. Photo: Jacktd/Wikimedia

A blind-drunk Romanian man caused a commotion in the departure hall at Graz airport on Wednesday afternoon, threatening to shoot himself with a police officer’s gun.

700 museums open their doors for Long Night event
The hare with amber eyes. Photo: KHM-Museumsverband/Michael Harvey

Night owls and culture vultures can explore over 700 of Austria’s museums from 6pm to 1am on Saturday, courtesy of the ORF’s Long Night of Museums event.

US rapper acquitted in Austrian sexual abuse trial
Freddie Gibbs. Photo: SwaGibbs/Wikimedia

Update: US rapper Freddie Gibbs has been acquitted of sexually abusing a girl half his age in his hotel room after a concert in Vienna last year.

Driver in Vienna 'shouting Allahu Akbar' tries to run over pedestrians
Photo: Paul Gillingwater

Police in Vienna are investigating whether a 21-year-old man who tried to run over pedestrians with his car on Thursday morning had a terrorist motive.

Life sentence for killer driver judged to be sane
Screen grab of the car in Herrengasse. Photo: ORF

A jury in the Austrian city of Graz has found a man guilty of killing three people in the southern city last year by driving his 4x4 at high speed down a crowded pedestrian street.

Rare panda twins getting more active every day
The twins are a boy and a girl. Photo: Schönbrunn Zoo

The unique panda twins that were born two months in Vienna are developing well and growing up fast according to zookeepers.

High altitude ski resorts get less snowfall
St. Anton ski resort. Photo: 24seven/Wikimedia

Spring skiing in Austrian resorts like St. Anton or Ischgl could become a thing of the past if a long-term trend discovered by Swiss researchers continues.

Stuntman's clutch fails after driving at 300 km/h
Felix Baumgartner. Photo: Red Bull Stratos

Skydiver Felix Baumgartner has been criticised after boasting about how the clutch on his Ford GT sports car failed after he drove it for several hours at speeds of up to 300 km/per hour.

Austrian men tend to be 'critical of working mothers'
Attitudes are less conservative than in the 1950s. Photo: German Bundesarchiv

42 percent of under 45-year-olds in Austria are critical of mothers with small children who have a job, and believe “a preschooler suffers if his or her mother works”.

Paid social work 'should help asylum seekers integrate'
Refugees arriving on boats in the Mediterranean. UNHCR/Archilleas Zavallis

Refugee experts from Austria’s nine states are meeting in Graz today, to discuss how to provide asylum seekers with employment and opportunities for integration through community work.

Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Those surprising Austrians!
National
100 years since the last emperor's death
National
Afghani family's new home in Austria
Lifestyle
Have fun in September!
National
Der you learn Deutsch?
Culture
Delighted by the light
National
Beware these passport scams
National
Of course we skipped Oarsch
National
Foodies rejoice at the choice!
Travel & Tourism
Yodel-ei-ei-eee--oh
Lifestyle
10 years after her escape from captivity
Politics
Surviving the Brexit for British expats
National
Another 10 million Euros for fresh elections
Gallery
Day 2 of the World Bodypainting Festival 2016
Society
Is Islam hostile to Western society?
Gallery
Bodypainting festival in southern Austria
National
It's gonna be hot... here's how to cope
National
Europe's ice cream capital
Travel
Best Austrian beauty spots
Travel & Tourism
Three days in Vienna as a tourist
National
How to make friends in Austria
2,479
jobs available