Austrian Conservative-Green Coalition Publicly At Odds Over Afghan Migrants

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz reacts on stage during the fifth "Austrian World Summit 2021" on current climate issues, at the Spanish Riding School in Vienna, on July 1, 2021. (Photo by ALEX HALADA / AFP) (Photo by ALEX HALADA/AFP via Getty Images)
ALEX HALADA/AFP via Getty Images

The Austrian government coalition of the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) and the Greens are increasingly publicly at odds with each other over whether or not to take in Afghan asylum seekers.

Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, leader of the ÖVP, made it clear over the weekend that he is against taking in large numbers of refugees and asylum seekers from Afghanistan and argued that his country had made a “disproportionately large contribution” in recent years to settling Afghan migrants.

Kurz stated that he was “not of the opinion that we should take in more people in Austria,” and added, “That will not happen under my chancellorship” while noting the “particularly difficult integration” of Afghan asylum seekers in Austria, Puls24 reports.

The other half of the ruling coalition, the leftist Greens, have released statements that take the opposite approach, saying that Europe must give aid to Afghan refugees.

“Austria’s efforts within the framework of the EU must focus on aid in Afghanistan, for the care of refugees in neighbouring countries and the immediate evacuation of all those who have to fear for their lives,” the Greens said.

“Europe has a clear responsibility to provide unbureaucratic refuge to people acutely at risk from Taliban groups, such as women, children and human rights activists,” the party said and added, “This requires a Europe-wide initiative for the humanitarian reception of people seeking protection. Austria must provide the necessary resources and expertise and conclude family reunifications that are already underway.”

The Greens and Kurz’s ÖVP also conflict when it comes to deportations of Afghans back to Afghanistan, with the Greens stating they will resist the policy and said, “Anyone who questions the Convention on Human Rights is questioning the foundations of our Europe.”

The issue of deportations to Afghanistan has been a talking point in Austria since the brutal rape and murder of a 13-year-old Austrian girl named Leonie in June of this year, who was allegedly drugged, raped, and killed by three Afghan migrants.

Deportation became a topic in the case as two of the migrants involved had been handed deportation orders years before the alleged murder but none had actually been sent back to Afghanistan.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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