Austria rejects EU proposal on jobs for asylum seekers

The EU should not give asylum seekers access to labour markets as this would attract additional migrants, Austrian Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka said in an interview published Thursday, rejecting a proposal by the European Commission.

"Granting work permits to asylum seekers is unthinkable," the conservative minister told German daily Die Welt.

"It would amount to a call to people in crisis countries to come to Austria. Our domestic job market would not be able to handle it," he added.

The EU executive had unveiled measures Wednesday aimed at cracking down on asylum seekers who abuse EU rules to seek out the most generous countries.

The plan also included a rule that labour market access must be given within six months after an asylum seeker files his protection claim, and within three months if the application looks to be well-founded.

More than 1 million refugees and migrants reached Europe in 2015. Austria received 90,000 asylum claims last year and has reacted by adopting increasingly restrictive immigration policies.

Last update: Thu, 14/07/2016 - 12:22

More from Europe

Ukraine moves to ban imports of Russian books

The import of Russian books into Ukraine would be sharply limited under new legislation passed in the Ukrainian...

Frankfurt airport test-runs new automatic immigration system

Frankfurt airport was testing out a new automatic immigration system on Thursday, the first time such a system has...

Italian president starts 48-hour round of talks on post-Renzi crisis

Italian President Sergio Mattarella was starting Thursday the hard slog of lifting his country from a political...

10 Italian school classes vote "Mein Kampf" among their top books

Ten classes of Italian high-school students included Adolf Hitler's anti-Semitic manifesto "Mein Kampf" among their...

France's Le Pen says she opposes free schooling for migrant children

French politician and head of the far right National Front party Marine Le Pen said Thursday that free education...