BERLIN (Reuters) – Austria’s new Chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, called for an end to “failed” attempts to achieve a quota system for distributing asylum seekers around the European Union and urged new efforts to help refugees in their country of origin.
When he was foreign minister, Kurz, a conservative now governing in coalition with the far-right Freedom Party, was a strong critic of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to open Germany’s borders to more than a million fleeing migrants in 2015.
Since becoming Chancellor this week, he has aligned himself with central European neighbors like Hungary and the Czech Republic in opposing German-backed proposals to distribute asylum seekers around EU member states.
“Forcing states to take refugees doesn’t take Europe any further. The discussion makes no sense,” he told Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper. “Migrants who set off for Europe don’t want to go to Bulgaria or Hungary. They want to go to Germany, Austria or Sweden.”…
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