Austrian chancellor approves EU refugee relocation program
April 07,2017 By:Xinhua
VIENNA, April 7, 2017 -- Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern on Thursday gave his approval to the commencement of the EU's refugee relocation system, a day after news that Austria would not receive an exemption from it.
In an interview with the Oe1 Mittagsjournal radio program, Kern said 50 unaccompanied minors will be admitted into Austria, though what happens after that remains somewhat open.
As part of the deal struck in 2015, Austria is obligated to accept about 1,900 refugees from Italy and Greece by September.
Kern initially appealed to the European Commission last week, making the case that Austria should be exempt in that since it had already taken in a large number of refugees that had arrived in the country illegally.
This was subsequently rejected by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who said Austria is obligated to hold to the terms it had agreed upon.
Kern still believed there can be room for negotiation on the remaining larger portion of the refugee intake, however.
He said further discussions with the European Commission will take place in future.