Vienna must fulfill its obligation to relocate refugees from Greece, Italy, says Avramopoulos

Austria must fulfill its obligations under the European Union program for the relocation of refugees from Greece and Italy, European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos told Austrian journalists on Thursday, on the sidelines of the European People’s Party (EPP) meeting in Malta.

“It’s an ethical, political and legal obligation. We are counting on the support of Austria,” he said, adding that the number of refugees decreased during the last two years, the registration centers in Greece and Italy are working and now it is time for all the member-states to contribute to the program. “Austria has been one of the more important supporters of this policy since the beginning,” he said.

On Tuesday night, the country sent European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker a letter asking to be exempt again from the relocation program. Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern said in the letter his country has already done enough for refugees.