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VIENNA: Austria’s new far-right interior minister sparked an outcry on Thursday by saying that his government wants to “concentrate” asylum-seekers, employing a word widely associated with Nazi camps.

Herbert Kickl told a news conference he wants “basic services centres, suitable infrastructure that enables us to concentrate people in the asylum process in one place”. The comments provoked outrage, with Alexander Pollak, head of migrants charity SOS Mit­mensch, calling it a “deliberate provocation” and essayist Robert Misik saying “a Rubicon has been crossed”.

The opposition Green Party warned against the “language of National Soc­ialism creeping into our way of thinking and feeling”, while the NEOS party said Kickl must apologise for his “deliberate provocation”.

Published in Dawn, January 12th, 2018

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