EU migrant crisis: Austria to cap migrants at 3,200 a day and asylum claims at 80 a day as country's in Schengen zone come under more pressure

 
James Nickerson
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Austria will enforce stricter border controls from today (Source: Getty)

Austria, a part of the Schengen passport-free zone, is to limit the number of migrants and asylum applications it receives each day from today, the country's interior minister has said.

The daily migrant cap will be set at 3,200 people, while it will limit the number of asylum claims it receives daily to 80.

"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," interior minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner said.

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She added: "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."

The move transforms an annual cap on asylum claims into a daily entry quota, as well as enforcing stricter border controls.

Austria has seen a rise in the number of migrants and asylum seekers over the past year, mostly entering the country from Hungary and Slovenia.

Read more: EU reform won't stop UK-bound migrants, says Barroso

Austria took nearly 90,000 asylum seekers in 2015, but wants to limit the number to 37,500 this year.

However, a large number of those entering Austria are using it as a transit route to Germany.

Slovenia, which is not part of the Schengen zone, is also going to take further steps in agreement with Austria, and Mikl-Leitner said Germany is likely to announce its own border restrictions.

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