Austria says wants exemption from EU migrant relocation system

European Union's commissioner for migrants Dimitris Avramopoulos,right, and Fabrice Leggeri, head of EU border agency Frontex, hold a joint press conference in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, March 21, 2017, that the EU has the "tools, the means and the power" to make all members states comply with the program of relocation of migrants. (AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

VIENNA: Austria will seek an exemption from having to accept more asylum-seekers under an EU relocation system, it said Tuesday, arguing that it has already taken in its fair share during Europe's migration crisis.

"We believe an exception is necessary for Austria for having already fulfilled its obligation. We will discuss that with the European Commission," Chancellor Christian Kern told reporters after a weekly cabinet meeting. "We will send a letter a quickly as possible and then begin discussions."

The comments are a new blow to a relocation system that would only cover a fraction of migrant arrivals to the European Union and has barely been implemented because of opposition led by Eastern European countries including Poland and Hungary.





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