Austria has already made a “disproportionately large contribution” in recent years and is home to one of the largest Afghan communities in Europe. So he was not “with the opinion that more people should be received in Austria”. “This is not going to happen under my presidency,” Kurz said, referring to the “particularly difficult integration” of Afghan asylum seekers.
Instead, people threatened in Afghanistan should be helped in neighboring countries, the chancellor said. Specifically, Kurz saw responsibility for Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, which had previously accepted only relatively few Afghans. The EU must support and persuade countries in the region to “provide protection for people who seek protection”.
- Video: ÖVP refuses to accept Afghans
The Swedish Interior Commissioner in the European Union, Ylva Johansson, said in an interview with the German newspaper “Welt am Sonntag”: One must support the Afghans inside the country and in the neighboring countries in the region. Meanwhile, it called on all EU countries to take in more refugees from Afghanistan through the UNHCR resettlement programme. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen confirmed that the EU Commission is ready to coordinate such programs and provide additional financial assistance.
So Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehamer (Vice-President) attacked the European Commission again yesterday because, according to Nehamer, it “continually sends the wrong messages”.
Can’t compare to 2015
Meanwhile, Austrian migration expert Gerald Knaus warned on ORF radio against comparing the current situation with 2015, the year of the major refugee movement. In 2015, Knauss said, millions of people were able to flee Syria across the open border to Turkey, where most stayed. Only part of it made its way to Europe via the Aegean Sea. “The situation today is radically different,” said the head of the Berlin-based European Stability Initiative (ESI). “People from Afghanistan – as we can see in the dramatic images from Kabul – will not leave,” Knaus said.
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