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Austria to use DNA tests to screen out relations of people with refugee status

Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer wants DNA tests carried out on relatives of people with refugee status to curb the inflow of migrants to the country.

Nehammer, a conservative, announced on Sunday the increased use of genetic tests to prove family relationships.

He told the Austrian news agency APA that checks by document experts and security officials were also to be tightened as part of the family reunification process,

“We will restrict family reunification through strict checks,” said the chancellor. He did not say how much fraud had been discovered in such procedures to date.

According to him, the reunification of close relatives of already recognised refugees had been hindered by the Coronavirus pandemic; now the capital Vienna in particular is facing a huge increase.

The Interior Ministry registered around 6,900 asylum applications in the first quarter.

Out of these registered, 45 per cent were made by people who had received an entry permit as part of a family reunification programme, in the previous year as a whole, the proportion was 16 per cent.(dpa/NAN)

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