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Photograph: EPA/ARMIN WEIGEL

Austria will handle asylum requests even more restrictively to cap immigration, the government announces, defying Austrian legal experts who have found an annual limit unlawful.

In the legal opinion commissioned by the government, the experts said that this year's planned limit of 37,500 refugees runs counter to international law, but that Austria had the right to stem the inflow by other means.

Austria will therefore introduce rapid asylum procedures and tighten border controls, Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner says.

No one will be admitted unless they already have family in Austria, or unless they would face inhumane treatment or death in the neighbouring countries they would be returned to, an Interior Ministry official explains.

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