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Austria Tells Macedonia to Be Ready to Close Border

Austria's foreign minister warned Macedonia on Friday that it should be ready to close its border to migrants, saying that Vienna may also begin turning refugees away in coming months.

"The migrant ceiling that Austria has set for 2016 will likely be reached in the next few months and Austria will then stop migrants at its borders," said Sebastian Kurz, whose country has set a refugee cap of 37,500 for this year.

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Austria Seeks EU Aid Halt for Nations Rejecting Failed Migrants

Austria's foreign minister called on the European Union on Thursday to stop giving aid to countries that refuse to take back nationals whose asylum claims were rejected.

"We in Europe need to finally start stepping up pressure if we want the repatriation system to work properly," Sebastian Kurz told national broadcaster Oe1.

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Austria Migrant Cap Could Be Reached by Summer

Austria's interior minister said Sunday that a new national cap on the number of asylum seekers it takes in this year could be reached by the summer, as Europe grapples with its worst migrant crisis since World War II.

The migrant hotspot said Wednesday it would seek to cap the number of asylum seekers at 37,500 in 2016, compared to the 90,000 claims it received last year, which Austria's foreign minister said should serve as a "wake-up call" to push Europe to find a common solution to resolve its migrant crisis.

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Austria to more than Halve Asylum-Seeker Numbers in 2016

Migrant hotspot Austria said Wednesday it would seek to cap the number of asylum-seekers at 37,500 in 2016, less than half of the 90,000 claims received last year.

"We can't take in all asylum-seekers in Austria," Chancellor Werner Faymann said after a national asylum summit in Vienna.

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Austria Turns Tougher on Migrants

Austria's interior minister signaled Friday a tougher line on migrants, saying that from next weekend it will follow Germany's lead and turn back any new arrivals seeking to claim asylum in Scandinavia.

"Right now on the Austrian-German border only those seeking asylum in Germany are being allowed in. Those who want to go further are being turned back," Johanna Mikl-Leitner said on public radio Oe1.

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Austrian Bar Bans Asylum-Seekers after Alleged Harassment

A bar owner in Austria said Wednesday she had banned "all asylum-seekers" after alleged attacks on guests, sparking strong criticism from human rights groups.

Karin Siebrecht-Janisch, who runs Charly's Bar in the picturesque spa town of Bad Ischl in Upper Austria state, said she took the decision after male migrants had repeatedly harassed her female clientele in recent months.

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Hungary Accuses Austria of 'Stupidity' in Refugee Crisis

Hungary has accused Austria of confusing "solidarity and stupidity" after Vienna said that nations which do not accept their share of refugees under European Union quotas should face sanctions.

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann had said that countries who did not cooperate with the program and received more money from the EU than they put in should see their subsidies cut.

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Paris Attacks Suspects Held in Austria 'not French'

Two men held in Austria for suspected links to the Paris attacks are not French, a source close to the investigation told AFP Thursday, denying media reports about their nationality.

The two men arrested at the weekend at a refugee center in the western city of Salzburg "are not French, but are an Algerian and a Pakistani," the source said, asking not to be named.

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'Frenchmen' with Possible Paris Attacks Links Held in Austria

Austrian police have arrested two people with suspected links to the Paris attacks, prosecutors said Wednesday, with an Austrian newspaper reporting the two are French citizens posing as refugees.

"Two people coming from the Middle East were arrested at the weekend," Robert Holzleitner, a spokesman for prosecutors in the western city of Salzburg, told AFP. 

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Austria to Build Fence on Slovenia Border in New Blow to Schengen Pact

In a new blow to the EU's cherished open-border Schengen accord, Austria announced Friday it would erect a 3.7-kilometer (2.3-mile) metal fence along its border with Slovenia to better manage a record influx of migrants and refugees.

The barrier, due to be completed in less than six weeks, will be the first fence between two members of the passport-free zone.

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