Austria’s highest court proclaims asylum cap illegal

EPA/STEPHANIE LECOCQ

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann arrives at an extraordinary summit of European Union leaders with Turkey in Brussels, Belgium, 07 March 2016. EU leaders are set to make another attempt to stem a migration surge that is testing their unity and principles, with hopes high that neighbouring Turkey will shoulder more of the burden.

Austria’s highest court proclaims asylum cap illegal


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Austria’s asylum cap to 37,500 refugees has been declared unlawful by the country’s Constitutional Court on Tuesday, March 15.

While Chancellor Werner Faymann is calling on Germany to introduce its own cap, the president of Austria’s Constitutional Court, Gerhart Holzinger, stated that Austria is obliged to grand asylum to everyone that meets the legal requirements.

Vienna allows 80 asylum seekers per day and allows 3,200 to transit to Germany.

Meanwhile, the Austrian Defense Minister, Peter Doskozil, suggested on Tuesday that the EU should help the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) – and EU candidate state – to secure its borders with Greece, an EU member state. Doskozil praised the government in Skopje for the work it has done “for the whole of the European Union.”

Austria’s Vice-President, Reinhold Mitterlehner, reiterated that “the Balkan route must stay closed.”

Meanwhile, 12,000 migrants are stuck in the Idomeni camp on the Greek side of the border with FYROM; the camp was originally designed for 2,000 people. On Tuesday, FYROM police detained 700 people. Three Afghan refugees drowned while making the crossing.

50 journalists and volunteers traveling with the refugees were also arrested, among them an Austrian volunteer and photographer, Fanny Müller-Uri, from Vienna. She said that she had not been aware of the leaflets. They were fined €250 each for illegal border crossing.

The refugees had received leaflets in Greek and Arabic from volunteers, detailing a route over an unguarded river crossing.

(The Local, DW, dpa, AP, Reuters, MIA)

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