Austria refused to accept 1,491 refugees from Greece, asking to postpone their relocation for 12 months, according to the online edition of Austrian Neue Zurcher Zeitung.
Austria requested from the European Commission to postpone the relocation agreement for 12 months because it has no vacant spots for said refugees. Austria also asked for the postponement of the relocation of 462 refugees from Italy.
A European Commission representative will examine the matter as Austria has undertaken to accommodate a total of 1,953 refugees from the two countries, but has not announced any vacancies so far.
Vienna had committed to accommodate a certain number of refugees and the decision on the distribution of the relocated refugees was taken in September on the basis of the commitment of member-states. At the time, there was strong reaction from Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic on the refugee distribution.
According to the European Commission, 17 member-states have created a total of 4.237 places for the reception of refugees, while 11 countries – Austria among them – have neglected this responsibility.
A representative of Austrian Interior Minister Karl-Heinz Grundboeck said there is an “accommodation crisis” and the government hopes that there will be an understanding by the European Commission.