Austrian daily Salzburger Nachrichten poses the question "Sealed border?" on its front page Thursday, after the government announced plans to limit the number of migrants allowed in the country.
An estimated 90,000 asylum seekers registered in 8-million-strong Austria last year, with tens of thousands more crossing the country for Germany. Austrian authorities revealed plans Wednesday to establish a ceiling of 37,500 migrants for this year, adding that the country would agree to welcome a maximum of 127,500 people by 2019. The newspaper characterized the measures as a "return to the 1960s."
Meanwhile, German Pesident Joachim Gauck has increased pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel to impose quotas there too. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos Wednesday, he said that "a limitation strategy may even be both morally and politically necessary," warning that "if democrats do not want to talk about limitations, then populists and xenophobes will ultimately set a limit."
Last year alone, Germany welcomed an estimated 1.1 million asylum seekers from Syria, Afghanistan and North Africa, and widespread sexual attacks perpetrated recently by migrants have boosted calls for a policy change.