Austria has sent a first group of asylum seekers to be accommodated in Slovakia under a deal aimed at easing overcrowding in Austria’s main refugee centre, Austria Press Agency reported on Thursday.
The two countries had reached an agreement in June, wherein 500 asylum seekers were to be transported to a former student dormitory in the Slovakian town of Gabcikovo, Xinhua reported.
The group of 18 asylum seekers originating from Syria were transported from living quarters at an army barracks in Salzburg on Thursday morning.
The transportation of another group of 42 Syria asylum seekers had also been planned, though the interior ministry said upon realising they were to be transported to Slovakia they became confused about what was going on and refused to make the trip.
Slovakian authorities on Thursday confirmed they are ready to proceed with the arrangement from their side, including the cooking of meals for the asylum seekers.