Interior Minister Karner against German advance in asylum policy


Anyone who, like Faeser, wants to forge a “coalition of member states willing to accept them” for asylum seekers is sending out the completely wrong signals, Austria’s Interior Minister Gerhard Karner (ÖVP) told the “Bild” (Tuesday). “I speak out against such efforts.” Such an alliance arouses false expectations.

Instead, Karner pleaded with the German newspaper to form “alliances of reason”. When it comes to migration, the EU should concentrate on those issues on which there is consensus. These are robust external border protection, fast procedures and consistent returns.

Austria has been pursuing a restrictive migration policy for many years. Like Germany, the country is one of the main destinations for immigrants, who, according to the authorities, often come for economic reasons. In 2021, according to the Federal Criminal Police Office, 40,000 people who had crossed the national borders illegally and sometimes with the help of smugglers were apprehended in Austria, almost twice as many as in the previous year.

After a meeting with EU Interior Commissioner Ylva Johansson in Berlin last Friday, Faeser said that a “coalition of member states willing to accept refugees” could go ahead and thus initiate the further development of the European asylum system. Her first talks with France and Italy on migration issues had been promising


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