It is terrible that something like this is possible, such brutality, such inhumanity that these people have apparently suffocated, „said Federal President Heinz Fischer in a press statement on the refugee drama in Burgenland.

It is terrible that something like this is possible, such brutality, such inhumanity that these people have apparently suffocated, „said Federal President Heinz Fischer in a press statement on the refugee drama in Burgenland.

15:55 | Federal President: „Power very concerned“

„It is terrible that something like this is possible, such brutality, such inhumanity that these people have apparently suffocated,“ said Federal President Heinz Fischer in a press statement on the refugee drama in Burgenland. „It is of course very affecting.“

He also did not hesitate to call for a minute of mourning at the Western Balkans Conference, where „this shocking event was commemorated,“ said Fischer. The Federal President said that one had to „press hard to contain and end this murderous civil war in Syria, which is producing hundreds of thousands of refugees, and to end the instability in neighboring Iraq.“

„Fighting the root of the refugee problem is the most important thing,“ said Fischer as a second measure, and the human smugglers must also be more closely monitored and punished. „But the most important thing is to contain the cause of such refugee movements as much as possible,“ said the Federal President. Every effort must be made to ensure „that there is no more bombing, tanks being shot at villages, that people are killed and women are raped. That is a task of the international community,“ said Fischer.

15:50 | Towed truck

The truck, in which 20 to 50 dead refugees were discovered on Thursday, was removed from its parking space in the afternoon. A tow truck raised the front axle of the heavy vehicle and drove off with the van, accompanied by a police escort. Initially, no information was given about the destination.

15:40 | „Intensive initial investigation phase“ is ongoing

After the refugee drama on the A4 in Burgenland, the Eisenstadt public prosecutor’s office began its investigations to clarify the fate of the refugees who had died. „We are in the intensive initial investigation phase,“ said authority director Johann Fuchs.

Fuchs assumes that there are „at least 20 dead“ in the truck parked in a breakdown bay. The head of the public prosecutor’s office could not answer questions about nationality, age and the possible time of death: „An autopsy has been initiated. The examination of the findings by a coroner is in progress.“ How long it will take until it is clear what the refugees died of cannot be estimated: „There is no reference case for such a thing.“

The public prosecutor’s office has already contacted the Hungarian law enforcement authorities – the 7.5 ton truck has a Hungarian registration number. So far there is no trace of the driver who has withdrawn. „We will leave no stone unturned to research the driver and his backers and to solve the crime,“ assured Fuchs.

15:30 | Memorial service in St. Stephen’s Cathedral

A memorial service in Vienna’s St. Stephen’s Cathedral is to be held on Monday at 7 p.m. to commemorate the refugees who died in a tug vehicle. The mass is led by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, who asked all churches on Thursday to let the bells ring at this time. Schönborn and the Eisenstadt bishop Egidius Zisfkovics were shocked.

„My sympathy goes to those people who had to suffer this unimaginably painful death,“ said Schönborn, who is currently in Rome, via „Kathpress“, and continues: „At one stroke, this terrible act makes the human plight of the refugees clear which demands a generous attitude from all of us – and courageous decisions. “ Schönborn was also appalled by the „indescribable human contempt of the smugglers“. Europe must finally act united, „in order to put these criminals down with all permissible means“.

15:25 | SPÖ wants to fight human smugglers

In view of the deaths of up to 50 people in a tractor truck, SPÖ Federal Managing Director Gerhard Schmid speaks of an „incredible tragedy“ that should not be repeated. It is important to „fight the smuggling problem, where criminals earn money from the suffering of other people, by all means of the rule of law“.

From the SPÖ’s point of view, mandatory EU distribution quotas, an active European foreign policy, targeted development aid and close cooperation with UNHCR and refugee NGOs would also be necessary. All of these are measures that could also ensure in the long term „that the situation in the countries of origin is improved and fewer people seek asylum and have to take the risk of fleeing,“ emphasized Schmid.

15:05 | Onlookers slow down at the crime scene

Officials with safety vests and forensics in white overalls move around the vehicle. In the opposite direction, onlookers keep slowing down.

Quite a few of the passers-by, many are probably also on the way to today’s annual late night shopping with a show program and live music in the nearby Designer Outlet in Parndorf, taking cell phone photos. Many of them have already been posted on social networks.

Seven civilian vehicles with flashing lights on the roof and two police patrol cars are parked next to the truck with Hungarian license plates and the inscription of a Slovak meat company. The first lane of the A4 is closed to the truck shortly after the Neusiedl exit in the direction of Vienna, and officials repeatedly hold up the already slow traffic, apparently so as not to endanger the crime scene work.

An embankment behind the closed truck was cordoned off. The area is combed with service dogs. Numerous journalists observed the events from a bridge about 200 meters from the crime scene. More and more camera teams arrive there in the course of the afternoon.

14:34 | Company sold trucks last year

The bodies of numerous refugees were discovered on Thursday in a truck on the eastern motorway (A4) in Burgenland. The lettering of a Slovak chicken company is on the refrigerator truck with its Hungarian registration number. According to the company’s spokesman, 13 of their trucks were sold in 2014. Apparently a buyer has sold one of the vans to Hungary, said the company spokesman. It is not possible to determine which vehicle is involved in a specific case. Incidentally, the buyer is not obliged to remove the company logo. The company was affected by the case.

At 6 p.m. today, a rally in memory of the victims will take place in front of the Ministry of the Interior on Minoritenplatzee.

# A4



– Association Ute Bock (@vereinutebock)

August 27, 2015

14:27 | „Predictable“ for Amnesty

„Whoever speaks of tragedy here is a hypocrite. It is predictable and, for all those who convulsively cling to a Dublin system that is no longer functioning, also negligently accepted, horrific collateral damage,“ responded the Secretary General of Amnesty International ( ai) Austria, Heinz Patzelt, on the refugee tragedy in Burgenland. „That won’t be the only disaster,“ said Patzelt in an interview with the APA. The horror only sets in „when these things happen before our eyes. The 1,000 dead in the Mediterranean and the countless deaths on the Balkan route were the announcement“. Apart from that, Patzelt stressed that those who transport smugglers are „criminals who must be arrested and brought to justice“.

14:14 | FPÖ „horrified“, NEOS „shocked“

FPÖ boss Heinz-Christian Strache reacted „horrified“ to the death of up to 50 refugees in a truck. NEOS human rights spokesman Nikolaus Scherak was also „shocked“. ÖVP and Team Stronach took the tragedy as an opportunity to call for an intensified fight against smugglers.

14:13 | Crime scene work will take days

The crime scene work alone after the death of an as yet unknown number of refugees in a tractor truck found in Northern Burgenland will take days. Gerald Tatzgern, head of the central office for combating human smuggling and human trafficking at the Federal Criminal Police Office, said this when asked by the APA.

The truck and its surroundings would have to be meticulously investigated on the spot in order to secure all evidence and not destroy any traces. Only then can it be brought to a location suitable for further analysis. Tatzgern did not give a specific time frame for this.

„The crime scene work will certainly not be completed today. It will continue for the next few days,“ said the colonel. Investigations with foreign authorities regarding the origin of the truck have already started. In addition, the police are looking for witnesses in connection with the parking of the truck in a breakdown bay near Parndorf (Neusiedl am See district).

Tatzgern did not want to provide any information about the condition of the corpses. In any case, the dead would also be examined to determine whether outside influence was involved.

The more we close up, the more often it becomes tragedy like on

# A4

You can only fight smugglers if there are legal asylum options on site- Wolfgang Moitzi (@wmoitzi)

August 27, 2015

In Vienna you cannot stand for 10 minutes without being fined. How long does it take on the A4 to see a parked truck?

– Rudi Fußi (@rudifussi)

August 27, 2015

14:05 | Minute of mourning at the Western Balkans Conference

Federal President Heinz Fischer, who had asked the heads of government and ministers taking part in the conference to give the minutes of mourning in his speech before lunch, spoke of a „shocking event“. It shows once again the „urgent need for EU member states to respond to this crisis in solidarity and in cooperation with our partners in the Western Balkans“.

He is aware of the different points of view and interests in this area, added Fischer. „But we need an agreement based on the European spirit and article one of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights following:“ All people are born free and equal in rights and obligations. They should meet one another in a spirit of brotherhood. „



Apparently up to 50 refugees suffocated in a truck on the A4


– Florian Flade (@FlorianFlade)

August 27, 2015

Refugee tragedy on A4 | In a tractor truck in Burgenland there are numerous dead refugees …

– ORF TVthek (@ORF_TVthek)

August 27, 2015

13: 37 | Justice Minister „shocked and angry“

„I am shocked, deeply affected and angry“, responded Justice Minister Wolfgang Brandstetter (ÖVP) to the refugee drama on the A4. „It was to be feared that there would one day be fatalities in the smuggling transports, because organized smuggling is an unscrupulous and murderous form of the most serious crime that must be consistently countered across Europe,“ said Brandstetter.

Brandstetter announced in a statement sent to the APA that the judiciary will fight this form of crime together with the Ministry of the Interior „with all means available to us“.

13:32 | Eyewitness reports on Twitter

Lindsey Hilsum wrote: „We were just driving past the truck on the A4 in Austria with 50 dead refugees in it. Terrible smell as we drove by.“ She also posted a picture.

Just drove past truck on A4 in Austria with 50 dead refugees inside. Terrible smell of death as we passed.

– Lindsey Hilsum (@lindseyhilsum)

August 27, 2015

13:00 | Mikl-Leitner in PK: „Today is a dark day“

„Today is a dark day and our thoughts are with the victims, the families of the victims and also with the friends,“ said Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner (ÖVP). „This tragedy affects us all.“ Smugglers are not interested in the refugees‘ welfare, but only in profit.

Mikl-Leitner on dead refugees on A4 | On the occasion of the discovery of at least 30 dead …

– ORF TVthek (@ORF_TVthek)

August 27, 2015

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It is the most discussed topic of the summer: the dramatic refugee situation at the borders of the EU and how the individual countries deal with it. For decades the EU has been trying to set up a joint approach and implement it in a binding manner. In the discussion about the failure of the European refugee policy, politicians now push each other the buck every day. What’s really new? And who is responsible for what? An overview of the findings, developments and most contentious issues.

The development of European refugee policy

The current immigration and refugee policy of the EU is based on the Geneva Agreement of 1951 (and its extension in 1967). For a long time, the member states were solely responsible for migration and asylum issues. In 1985, however, a common regulation became the topic, because the creation of a common internal market also meant that the refugee issue had to be tackled together.

The trigger was the first Schengen Agreement, which regulated the dismantling of border controls. Since those seeking protection could now move uncontrolled between the EU countries, it was clear that a generally applicable handle had to be found in this regard.

In 1990, this was the reaction to the Schengen Implementation Agreement. As a result, the entry requirements in the Schengen area were standardized. The agreement is regarded as the starting point for a common immigration and refugee policy. In 1993, through the Maastricht Treaty, the member states undertook for the first time to work together on refugee policy.

In 1990 the first Dublin Convention was signed, but it did not come into force until 1997. This (and its follow-up regulations) regulate which European country has to examine asylum applications and provide for the accommodation of refugees. In most cases, the state in which a person seeking help first steps on European soil is responsible. Alternatively, it is also possible that a country is responsible in which family members already live or for which a visa exists.