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Austria Tells Kosovars Not To Waste Time Seeking Asylum - Yahoo News

Seven years since declaring independence from Serbia, Kosovo is seeing a dramatic rise in the number of its citizens smuggling themselves into European Union territory through Serbia, leaving behind chronic poverty, unemployment and political corruption for more affluent Western Europe. Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner raised the issue during a clicking here visit to the Kosovo capital Pristina on Friday, telling a news conference that Austria would vigorously return Kosovar asylum seekers. "We will have a charter plane every two weeks and if there is a need we will engage more planes," Mikl-Leitner said through a translator. "We are moved here discussing turning these people back also via land routes but we have to talk to Serbia about this." The Austrian government published an appeal on the third page of Kosovo daily Koha Ditore saying: "Smugglers are lying. There will be no asylum for economic reasons in Austria. For staying illegally in Austria, you may be punished by up to 7,500 euros ($8,481)." Germany, too, has taken action, sending border officers to the frontier between Serbia and Hungary, where for months Kosovars have been walking across the water-filled ditch and through the forests that mark the EU's eastern border. Kosovo officials say would-be migrants are lured by rumors of relaxed rules in Germany - the most popular destination - governing asylum seekers and work permits.
More: http://news.yahoo.com/austria-tells-kosovars-not-waste-time-seeking-asylum-130956518.html

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