VIENNA — Austria's interior minister says the European Union's migration commissioner is prematurely "throwing in the towel" on the idea of setting up centers for migrants in North Africa.
EU Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos was quoted in Austria's Die Presse newspaper Thursday as saying the idea of slowing the flow of migrants to Europe by establishing holding centers was "practically impossible."
Avramopoulos says "no country in this part of the Mediterranean has accepted the establishment of such a platform to date."
Austrian Interior Minister Herbert Kickl on Friday, before meeting with his EU counterparts and Avramopoulos, called the comments a "bad signal," saying the message should be "let's try to take on this hard task."
He says: "The idea is roughly two months old and ... the EU commissioner's already throwing in the towel."