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Austrian parliament passes tougher legislative asylum package

Vienna, April 28 (IANS) Austria’s parliament on passed a legislative asylum package that will lead to a potentially tougher refugee policy in the future.

Passed on Wednesday by 98 to 67, the bill authorises the government to declare a “state of emergency” if the number of migrants suddenly rises and reject asylum claims at the border within an hour, Xinhua news agency reported.

The package was passed by the national council, or lower house of the parliament. To become law, it needs to be passed by the federal council, or the upper house, next week and signed by the president and chancellor.

According to Austrian newspaper Der Standard, the legislation is supported by current ruling parties Social Democrats (SPO) and People’s Party (OVP).

The current ruling coalition is introducing tougher policies to gain public support with Austrians tired of an “open door” refugee policy, analysts said.

Austrian far-right Freedom Party (FPO) on Sunday won an unprecedented victory in the first round of presidential election.

It is the first time since 1945 Austria will not elect a president backed by either Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann’s SPO or their centre-right coalition partners OVP.

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