Austria’s centrist coalition government on Tuesday agreed on a draft law which would allow authorities to stop providing accommodation and food to rejected asylum seekers who refuse to leave the country.
The bill, which must still be approved by parliament, is part of a wider reform of laws dealing with foreigners in Austria, which includes fines or prison sentences for migrants who lie about their identity.
The Austrian government is preparing a package of policies aimed at countering the rise of the far-right Freedom Party whose candidate came close to winning the presidential election in December.
Migrants who are denied asylum and refuse to leave will have to face the consequences, Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka said.
“The first thing is basically that they don’t get anything from the Austrian state if they don’t have the right to stay here. Is that so hard to understand?,” Sobotka told reporters.
He said the law was designed to enforce the rule of law and encourage rejected asylum seekers to leave voluntarily.