Austria to Receive 1000 Extra Refugees

World | April 20, 2014, Sunday // 16:53| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: Austria to Receive 1000 Extra Refugees Photo by BGNES

Austria will receive an extra 1000 Syrian refugees in addition to the quota of 500 announced in August 2013, according to Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner.

In a Sunday interview for Austrian newspaper Kurier, she explained that the country would receive an additional 1000 refugees apart from the initially announced quota of 500, adding that priority treatment would be granted to women, children and persecuted Christians.  She said that the number of asylum applicants had not been taken into account in the measure.

Citing data of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), she noted that the situation in and around Syria was becoming increasingly dramatic, with an estimated 4 million expected to have fled violence in Syria by end-2014, ? of them women and children.

Asked about a timeframe for the arrival of the additional quota of1000 refugees, she said that it was a responsibility of the UNCHR, expressing hopes that it would happen as soon as possible.

According to Austrian newspaper Kurier, the country has so far received only 300 Syrian refugees.

As of Thursday, Austria stopped accepting refugees from Bulgaria and placed a visa requirement, according to reports of Bulgarian private TV station bTV.

As a result, some 30 Syrian nationals, who had already bought plane tickets, were forced to wait at Sofia Airport for an opportunity to fly to Austria.

Around 2.6 million people have fled Syria since the start of the revolt against the regime of Bashar al-Assad  in 2011 and 6.5 million are living as internally displaced, according to UN data.

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Tags: Syrian refugees, asylum seekers, UNHCR, Bashar Al-Assad, Austria
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