• Austria's news in English
Kurz: Keep asylum seekers on islands
Sebastian Kurz. Photo: Bildagentur Zolles / Mike Ranz

Kurz: Keep asylum seekers on islands

The Local/AFP · 5 Jun 2016, 19:56

Published: 05 Jun 2016 19:56 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Sebastian Kurz suggested in an interview with Die Presse newspaper published on Sunday that the bloc follow the "Australian example" to discourage migrants from setting out on the often perilous journey to Europe.

Under Australia's harsh and much-criticised immigration policy, asylum-seekers who try to reach Australia by boat are turned back or sent to Pacific camps in Nauru and Papua New Guinea where they are held indefinitely while their refugee applications are processed.

They are blocked from resettling in Australia even if found to be refugees.

"The Australian model of course cannot be completely replicated but its principles can be applied in Europe," the minister said, adding that he was skeptical about the impact of a recent agreement with Turkey aimed at reducing the number of migrants traveling to the continent.

A similar model was used in the United States in the first half of the 20th century, with new arrivals being held on Ellis Island as they travelled to New York, he said.

Kurz added that the EU should adopt a resolution whereby those who try to enter Europe illegally lose their right to demand asylum.

Some 204,000 migrants and refugees have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe since January, the United Nations refugee agency said this week.

More than 2,500 people have died trying to make the journey this year -- the vast majority of them on crossings between Libya and Italy -- as Europe battles its worst migration crisis since World War II.

Story continues below…

Many migrants saved from the sea are already directed to Greek islands or the Italian island of Lampedusa.

Austria, governed by a coalition of social-democrats and conservatives, welcomed some 90,000 asylum seekers last year, but since then Vienna has hardened its conditions of asylum and tried to close the migrant route from Greece to the north of Europe via the Balkans.

Last month a candidate from the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) narrowly lost the election for the largely ceremonial but coveted post of president.

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

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
Female terror suspect 'planned suicide attack' in Austria
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.

Austria 'horror clown' attacks leave several injured
Clown performers are not happy about the negative media stories. Photo: Graeme Maclean/Flickr

Several people have been injured in attacks by masked assailants dressed as 'creepy clowns' in the lead-up to Halloween.

Brunnenmarkt murder 'could have been prevented'
Locals remember the murdered woman. Photo: Wien Caritas

The random murder of a woman in Vienna could have been prevented if the homeless and mentally disturbed man who killed her had been admitted to a psychiatric institution.

Iraqi family ask ECJ to help them stay in Austria
Kumberg locals hold a vigil for the family. Photo: ORF

A group of people from Kumberg in Styria have asked the European Court of Justice (ECJ) for help in trying to stop the deportation of an Iraqi family.

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