Data published last month by Austria’s Ministry of the Interior, headed by Gerhard Karner (ÖVP), has revealed a considerable uptick in the submission of asylum applications throughout the country’s territory.
This year, Austria’s embattled government, presently led by Chancellor Karl Nehammer (ÖVP), recorded a total of 28,288 asylum application submissions from January to the end of October, well over twice (144%) the number recorded during the same period last year, the Vienna-based daily Exxpress reports.
By the end of the year, the interior ministry is expected to have processed some 34,000 asylum claims—a volume comparable to the 40,000 processed at the time of Europe’s infamous migrant crisis of 2016.
For this reason, many have expressed concern that the figures recorded this year could be indicative of a larger wave of migration that may be headed for Austria.
According to figures from Statistics Austria, the government’s official statistical office, while citizens from Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, and Morocco by far topped the list of asylum-seeking applicants, large numbers of Bangladeshis, Egyptians, Iraqi, Iranians, and Pakistanis also submitted claims to Austria’s Interior Ministry.
At the height of Europe’s migrant crisis in 2015, the Austrian interior ministry processed a total of 88,340 asylum claims.
Robert Semonsen is a political journalist based in Central Europe. His work has been featured in various English-language news outlets in Europe and the Americas. He has an educational background in biological and medical science. His Twitter handle is @R_Semonsen.