In an interview with German media, including Die Welt, he said that the refugee crisis had become an emotional issue and had been decisive in influencing the outcome of the UK’s referendum on whether to leave the EU. He warned that other countries may decide to follow Britain’s example.
He said that Austria also “expects more of Europe” and that the issue of how to manage the continuing influx of refugees and migrants “is high on people’s agenda” and that they want answers on how Europe’s problems can be solved.
At the same time he defended Austria’s refugee policy, saying “I’d like to see more understanding from Germany for our position, especially as Germany has no problems with controls on the Austrian-German border.”
And he repeated his demand for migrants to be intercepted before they arrive by boat. “If someone tries to come illegally to Europe, they must be stopped at the EU's external border and returned to their transit country or country of origin – otherwise we are indirectly supporting people smugglers and even more people will drown.”
Earlier this month Kurz was heavily criticised for suggesting that the European Union should follow Australia’s example and hold asylum seekers on islands rather than allowing them direct access to the continent, a move which he said would discourage migrants from setting out on the often perilous journey to Europe.