Austria to set daily quotas on asylum claims

Officials say 80 asylum applications will be accepted each day, and a maximum of 3,200 people will be allowed to travel through Austria.

(File photo) Refugees walk to the Austrian side of the border crossing Slovenia
(File photo) Refugees walk to the Austrian side of the border crossing Slovenia

Austria will impose a daily quota on asylum claims and limit the flux of migrants travelling through the country. The measures will be introduced on Friday.

Officials say 80 asylum applications will be accepted each day, and a maximum of 3,200 people will be allowed to travel through Austria.

The country has become a major transit route for migrants seeking to claim asylum in Germany.

Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner said Austria had no choice but to act, as there was no European solution yet in place for the current migrant crisis.

"It is a matter of common sense to secure our borders as long as there is no European solution. I see it as our responsibility, to maintain security, order and the quality of life in Austria for our citizens," she said.

"We cannot cope with the number of asylum applications that we had last year. That is why we impose limits on the stream of refugees. Another step is the introduction of daily quotas."

Austria took in about 90,000 asylum seekers in 2015, about 1% of its population, and officials expect to cut this number sharply this year, to about 37,500.

Observers say the influx has contributed to the rising popularity of the far right in Austria, sparking tensions in the governing coalition.

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