The campaign will feature posters on social media, TV and billboards around the country, some of which read: “No asylum in Austria for economic reasons” and “Smugglers lie! Inform yourself!”
According to Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner, who presented the posters on Tuesday, it was a question of fairness to let people in their homeland know about their chances of asylum in Austria.
“Wrong information from people smugglers leads to false expectations in the native countries,” she said. “Therefore we want people in their home countries to already be informed about the strengthening of asylum law in Austria.”
The billboards will feature in the country’s five biggest cities and posters will also appear on buses in Kabul, on 1,000 Afghan websites and in newspapers.
Austria received around 90,000 asylum claims in 2015 and say they will limit the number of cases they are prepared to accept this year to 37,500.
Around a quarter of the asylum claims last year were from Afghans.
Political sniping continues in Europe
Meanwhile, the diplomatic row in Europe over responsibility for new asylum seekers continues after Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann said Germany “should set up a daily quota and then bring these refugees directly from Greece, Turkey or Jordan.”
In an interview with the Kurier newspaper, he added: "Austria cannot and must not become a distribution hub [for refugees]. There must be an end to that.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel responded by saying countries that close national borders are not doing “anything against the causes for the refugee movement.”
The Austrian Chancellor’s comments on Wednesday follow the leaking earlier this week of papers from the country’s Military Intelligence Office, which warned that Austria could become a waiting zone for as many as half a million further refugees if Germany can not take on all 1.1 million asylum applications.
In a section of the paper published by the Krone newspaper, the office also warned that in view of the continuing crisis in regions of the Middle East returning people from countries like Turkey to their homelands is unlikely and a repetition of last summer’s refugee and migrant crisis is probable.