Austria pressures Morocco to take back migrants

Threatens to cut aid if repatriation not implemented

05 February, 16:20

    (ANSAmed) - RABAT , FEBRUARY 5 - Morocco is under pressure to repatriate migrants from both Germany and Austria now, which are threatening to call on Europe to halt aid to the country if it does not repatriate its migrants that lack the right to asylum. Austrian foreign minister Sebastian Kurz raised the issue on the public radio station Oe1. ''At the moment, the EU gives 480 million euros to Morocco and 414 million to Tunisia every year, and yet these countries refuse to take back asylum seekers,'' Kurz said.

    His words then circulated among Arab dailies online, which noted that the next EU summit in Brussels on February 18-19 might be when the ''threats'' become operative. In recent days Germany had applied pressure to this end on the issue of a group of Moroccans who had pretended to be Syrians to get refugee status, reported Akhbar Al-Youm. Deputy German chancellor Sigmar Gabriel noted that ''Morocco and Algeria receive economic aid from Germany and in exchange they refuse to collaborate. This is unacceptable.'' A telephone call between King Mohammed VI and German chancellor Angela Merkel then discussed what the next steps would be. The two countries' diplomatic officers are working to implement repatriations. The crackdown came after violence on New Year's Eve in the German city of Cologne, in which most of the perpetrators were found to be of Moroccan origins. German interior ministry figures say that Moroccan asylum seekers rose in number from 368 in June 2015 to 2,896 in December.

    The latest Moroccan census - in 2011 - put the number of those from the country living in Germany at 150,000. (ANSAmed).

    © Copyright ANSA - All rights reserved

    Business opportunities

    The information system of business
    opportunities abroad

    News from Mediterranean