Austria says will have to restrict migrant entries further

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 19, 2016 5:14 AM

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austria, which angered European Union peers by announcing a daily cap on immigration and asylum claims, said on Friday it was happy with the decision and would have to introduce even stricter limits in future.

The daily limits, of 3,200 migrants crossing the border and 80 asylum claims announced on the eve of an EU leaders' summit, were widely seen as undermining Germany's quest for a joint EU solution to the bloc's refugee crisis in tandem with Turkey.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker expressed exasperation on Thursday at the move, and the EU's migration chief that the cap on asylum claims would break EU and international humanitarian law.

But Austria, the last stop on the way to Germany for the hundreds of thousands of migrants who have flocked to Europe, appeared undeterred, and its interior minister said the daily caps had been introduced on Friday morning.

"I am very happy with our decision and we will stick to it," Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner told reporters as she arrived at a conference. "We will have to reduce these upper limits further."

(Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Mark Heinrich)