Austria expects 70,000 asylum applications for 2015

Updated: 2015-06-03 10:29


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VIENNA -- About 70,000 asylum seekers are expected to submit their applications to Austria this year, the Austrian Interior Ministry said Tuesday.

The ministry previously estimated that Austria will receive some 50,000 asylum applications in 2015. If the new estimate comes true, it will be the highest level since 1968, when about 162,000 refugees were allowed to settle in the country.

The revised figures came largely on the back of a recent surge in applications, the ministry said, adding that a total of 6,240 asylum applications were recorded for May, with 1,781 registered in the past week alone.

Relative to the population size, Austria was the largest target country for asylum seekers in Europe last month, it said.

On May 4, Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann called on European nations to raise quota for the intake of asylum seekers, in the wake of a refugee crisis in the Mediterranean Sea that has killed many people.