Minister wants more border protection: Austria rumbles about EU migration policy

The debate about the distribution of refugees in the EU is “pointless” in the eyes of Austria’s Minister of the Interior, Nehammer. Before that, the Union’s external borders would have to be “rigorously” protected. His country will also not accept any more people from Afghanistan.

Before the meeting of the EU interior ministers on Friday, Austria sharply criticized the EU migration policy. “The failure of European asylum policy manifests itself at the EU’s external borders,” said Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer of the newspaper “Die Welt”. “If we had a functioning protection of the EU’s external border, hundreds of thousands of migrants would not come to the EU every year.”

Nehammer expressly praised the fact that member states such as Croatia and Greece did “excellent” work at the EU’s external borders. “But the EU must not leave these states alone,” demanded the Austrian. “Instead of establishing a functioning external border protection system, the EU Commission has been debating the distribution of refugees for six years,” criticized Nehammer. This is “pointless, because without a rigorous protection of the EU’s external borders there will never be an agreement on the issue of distribution.”

Country does not want to take in any more Afghans

Nehammer also accused the EU border protection agency Frontex of merely “supervising” the border guards of the Mediterranean countries instead of actively supporting them. The EU Commission called for investigations into the allegations on Thursday after reports of alleged illegal rejections of asylum seekers by border guards in Croatia and Greece. The government in Zagreb promised to do so, while Athens categorically denied the allegations.

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At the meeting of EU interior ministers in Luxembourg, 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 land illegal migrants on their territory in so-called landing platforms instead of using organized ones Let crime move on to Europe “. Austria’s interior minister also emphasized that his country would not accept any further refugees from Afghanistan. “And not even in the context of so-called resettlements,” he told the “Welt”.

Rather, he advocates “setting up deportation centers for migrants from Afghanistan in neighboring countries in the region”. To do this, however, the Europeans would have to be prepared “to create large-scale incentives for these countries”. Nehammer emphasized that 44,000 Afghans were already living in his country. “There is only Sweden ahead of us in the EU.” Integrating Afghans in the country is particularly difficult. According to a study, they tended to be more violent, said the ÖVP politician.

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