migrants germany refugees.jpg
Photograph: EPA/ARMIN WEIGEL

Austria is planning to introduce a daily limit for allowing asylum seekers into the country, an Interior Ministry spokesman said Thursday, confirming yet another step to tighten the country's immigration policy.

"We are putting the brakes on, as planned," Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner said earlier.

The spokesman said that new measure would be implemented within the next two weeks.

The spokesman said details were still being worked out. The daily number of people to be accepted would depend on capacities of police authorities, refugee shelters, as well as on forecasts about the amount of migrants accepted by neighbouring Germany.

The new plan follows a similar proposal by the German politician Julia Kloeckner, a senior member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats.

Kloeckner put forward a plan in January to create border centres from which refugees would enter the country according to daily quotas.

The Austrian government last month launched a policy package to reduce immigration.

It includes an upper limit of 37,500 asylum seekers for the current year, down from last year's 90,000. In addition, Austria aims repatriate 50,000 asylum seekers by 2019.

Austria and Germany have been among the EU members with the highest numbers of asylum claims per capita. The governments of both countries have been under pressure from opposition parties and from public sentiment to lower the number of arrivals.

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