Austrian leaders urges Merkel to limit migrants

Austria's chancellor is urging his German counterpart to follow his country's example and set a limit on the number of asylum seekers Berlin is prepared to accept.

The appeal from Werner Faymann appears aimed at increasing pressure on German Chancellor Angela Merkel ahead of Thursday's EU refugee summit.

In an interview published Tuesday by the Kurier newspaper, Faymann says that "Germany too needs a point of reference," and urged Merkel "to say clearly and openly" that there cannot be uncontrolled migration into Europe.

Austria capped the number of asylum-seekers it will accept this year at 37,500 after nearly 90,000 applied for that status in 2015.

Macedonian authorities said Tuesday they have sent back hundreds of refugees and migrants to Greece, a day after they bypassed a fence at a closed section of the border in a mass push to continue their journey north to Europe's prosperous heartland — a move Greece blamed on "criminal misinformation" potentially spread by volunteers working with migrants.

Interior ministry spokesman Toni Angelovski told The Associated Press that the migrants "have been returned to Greece."

About 700 people pushed their way into Macedonia Monday through an unguarded section of the border, frustrated at being stuck for weeks in a waterlogged tent city outside the closed crossing of Idomeni. More than 1,000 men, women and children are believed to have entered Macedonia after walking about 5 kilometers (3 miles) across country, and fording a swollen stream near the Greek village of Hamilo.

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