Europe

The Latest: Austria wants exemption from EU migrant plan

  • A Spanish police officer, right, stands guard outside the Spanish parliament during a protest in Madrid, Tuesday, March 28, 2017.  Few dozens of migrants and locals protested against police harassment and claimed for decriminalizing the sale of copied items on the streets, which is their main source of income. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

    A Spanish police officer, right, stands guard outside the Spanish parliament during a protest in Madrid, Tuesday, March 28, 2017. Few dozens of migrants and locals protested against police harassment and claimed for decriminalizing the sale of copied items on the streets, which is their main source of income. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)  (The Associated Press)

  • Migrants, one holding a placard that reads in Spanish: "Trump, No. No ban nor wall in", shout slogans during a protest outside the Spanish parliament in Madrid, Tuesday, March 28, 2017. Few dozens of migrants and locals protested against police harassment and claimed for decriminalizing the sale of copied items on the streets, which is their main source of income. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

    Migrants, one holding a placard that reads in Spanish: "Trump, No. No ban nor wall in", shout slogans during a protest outside the Spanish parliament in Madrid, Tuesday, March 28, 2017. Few dozens of migrants and locals protested against police harassment and claimed for decriminalizing the sale of copied items on the streets, which is their main source of income. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on the flow of migrants and asylum-seekers into Europe (all times local):

3:15 p.m.

Austria's chancellor says he will push in Brussels for at least temporary exempt status from an EU-wide plan to distribute refugees.

The plan adopted in September 2015 foresaw sharing 160,000 asylum seekers from front-line states Greece and Italy around the EU over two years. But it has resulted in only a fraction being relocated.

Austria's quota is 1,953 but it, along with others, has yet to participate in the scheme. Chancellor Christian Kern said Tuesday that Austria should be exempt because it has fulfilled its obligations by handling those who slipped over its borders undetected.

But European Commission spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud said "no country can unilaterally withdraw from a legally binding decision," and that Austria is "expected to fulfill its legal obligation."

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12:40 p.m.

The European Union's commissioner for migration is calling on Hungary to comply with the bloc's rules on dealing with asylum seekers.

New legislation entering into force in Hungary on Tuesday allows the detention of all asylum seekers in border container camps. It has been sharply criticized by UN agencies and human rights advocates.

EU Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos met with Hungarian officials and said experts would discuss the new asylum rules to ensure "that EU rules also are complied with."

Meanwhile, the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, an advocate for asylum seekers, said that a temporary order late Monday from the European Court of Human Rights prevents Hungary from taking eight teenagers and a woman with a high-risk pregnancy from refugee reception centers to the border container camps.