Austria’s conservative Chancellor Sebastian Kurz opposes taking in Afghan refugees now that the Taliban have seized power.
In an interview with TV channel Puls 24, the Chancellor said, ”I am clearly opposed to us now voluntarily taking in more people and that will not happen during my chancellorship.”
“I am not of the opinion that we should take in more people. Quite the opposite,” Kurz said of Afghans fleeing their country.
“Austria has made a disproportionately large contribution,” he added, referring to a large number of Afghan refugees and asylum seekers already in the country.
He said people fleeing Afghanistan should stay in the region, adding that neighboring Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan had only taken in 14 and 13 Afghan refugees respectively.
Kurz has built his career on taking a hard line on immigration, winning every parliamentary election since 2017. While many governments are confused about what to do with Afghans, Kurz said coming to Austria was not an option.
Austria took in a large number of asylum seekers during Europe’s migration crisis in 2015 and 2016. Currently, it has more than 40,000 Afghan refugees, the second-highest in Europe.