The Commission is today recommending that Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway phase out the temporary controls currently in place at some of their internal Schengen borders over the next six months. However an important number of irregular migrants and asylum seekers are still present in Greece and more efforts are needed to accelerate the processing of asylum applications, increase relocation and to ensure the resumption of Dublin transfers to Greece. The Commission therefore considers it justified that the Council allows the Schengen States concerned, as a last resort measure and only after having examined alternative measures, to prolong the current temporary internal border controls one last time for a limited period of six months.
The President of European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, has responded to the Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern who had requested an exemption from the relocation plan of migrants. The letter urges Austria to fulfill its duty to help Greece and Italy, it’s written that “The Commission is ready to discuss how to assist the Austrian authorities to gradually fulfill their obligations. Of course we take into account the solidarity that Austria has shown in the past”. Interior Minister, Wolfgang Sobotka, responded positively to the demands of Brussels. “We are legally bound to respect the Europe Agreement and we will do it”. The staff of the Chancellor Christian Kern instead still sees “room for maneuver”, referring to a “gradual” application, to which Juncker’s letter makes mention.
Austrian prosecutors say they have charged a Syrian rebel with 20 murders that took place in his home country. The 27-year-old man was arrested in western Austria in June while he was staying in a refugee centre. Austrian media said he told people at the shelter that he had shot dead wounded government soldiers when he was fighting with an Islamist rebel group called the Farouq Brigade. A Syrian fellow reported him to officials, AFP news agency recorded. The killings are thought to have taken place in 2013 or 2014, in or around Homs, Syria’s third-largest city. Prosecutors said he initially admitted the killings but then retracted his confession, AFP said.