In the first six months of this year, more asylum seekers left Austria than new requests were filed. Thus, there were about 22,990 asylum applications, but about 28,000 departures. The latter include fast-track procedures, deportations and voluntary departures. Interior Minister Gerhard Karner attributes the development to three measures in particular. These include consistent border controls, efficient and fast asylum procedures and deportations. Of the latter, there were 5,872 in the Alpine Republic in the first half of the year. At the same time, the number of asylum applications filed decreased by 30 per cent compared to the same period last year. Minister Karner emphasised: “By consistently sending people out of the country, we thwart the business model of the smuggling mafia and secure the asylum system for those who actually need it.” Without the enforcement of legally binding asylum decisions, there can be no credible asylum system, he said. Meanwhile, changes in the application and training process for Austria’s police have been announced. For example, online applications are now possible. In addition, a missing driving licence and visible tattoos are no longer exclusion criteria.