The German government needs to clarify the number of refugees is willing to accept in 2016, Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann told the “Kurier” newspaper’s Sunday edition.
“Germany needs to state the number of refugees it is willing to accommodate from the region around Turkey and Syria,” Faymann told the “Kurier” and added that “as long as Germany does not clearly say, it is clear what will happen: refugees will keep believing that they will be allowed to pass through.”
The Austrian government has come under fire from the European Commission and human rights groups for capping its intake of refugees. In February, Austria had announced that it would allow only 80 asylum applications every day and a maximum of 37,500 in 2016. It also said it would only allow 3,200 refugees to cross through Austria to another country.
On 25 February, European Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos has said that EU Member States cannot put caps on how many asylum seekers they receive. “This is simply not according to EU and international rules…everyone must respect and apply the rules,” the Commissioner said.
On Sunday, Faymann challenged Commission’s claim that the Austrian immigration policy is illegal under the EU laws and he therefore said that he consider taking legal action against the EU.
“I have never insulted anyone, but consistently followed the interests of Austria. As the head of government, that is my job,” Faymann said and added that the current EU policies over the refugee crisis were not adequate to deal with the crisis and help the Member States.
German refugee policy
Besides the Austrian government many German politicians are pressuring the German government to limit the refugee influx. However, the influential German Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, is backing the German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the issue saying that Germany will not impose any limit, unlike Austria and Sweden.
Merkel has repeatedly stressed that the German government aims to continue its open-door refuge policy, but at the same time she pursues a European based solution in which all Member States will implement the refugee relocation program. Moreover, she wants from Turkey to limit the migration influx.