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Austria criticizes EU migration policy

Immediately before the meeting of the EU interior ministers on Friday, Austria criticized the EU migration policy extremely sharply.

Vienna - "The failure of the European asylum policy manifests itself at the EU's external borders," said Austria's Interior Minister Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) to Die Welt. "If we had a functioning protection of the EU's external border, hundreds of thousands of migrants wouldn't come to the EU every year." Countries like Croatia and Greece did "excellent" work at the EU's external borders.

"But the EU must not leave these states alone. Instead of establishing a functioning external border guard, the EU Commission has been debating the distribution of refugees for six years. That is pointless, because without rigorous protection of the EU there will never be an agreement on the question of distribution on the external borders. I guarantee you that," the minister continued. He also criticized the fact that officials of the EU border protection agency (Frontex) merely "supervise" the border guards of the Mediterranean countries instead of actively supporting them. He called for "a final rethink in EU migration policy".

At the meeting of the EU interior ministers on Friday, Nehammer announced that he would address "how the EU, with its economic power of 450 million people, can get transit countries such as Tunisia or Morocco to accommodate illegal migrants on their territory in so-called landing platforms instead of helping organized crime move on to Europe ". Nehammer also confirmed that his country was not ready to take in any more refugees from Afghanistan. "And not even in the context of so-called resettlements," said the minister.

He added: "I am in favor of setting up deportation centers for migrants from Afghanistan in the neighboring countries in the region. But the Europeans must be ready for this for these countries create incentives on a grand scale." Austria has already provided 20 million euros in financial aid. "And we organized a first conference in New York, attended by international organizations and representatives of authorities from numerous EU countries." In addition, 44,000 Afghans already lived in Austria: "This means that only Sweden lies ahead of us in the EU. That is also a challenge for our social systems. And the people must be integrated." That is particularly difficult in the case of Afghans. "According to a study, they tend to be more willing to use violence and are often more difficult to integrate," says Nehammer.

Photo: dpa.
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