VIENNA, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- The number of asylum applications made in Austria has seen a sharp 43 percent decline in 2017, falling from 42,285 to 24,296, officials revealed at a press conference Thursday.
The number of asylum applications being processed also saw a strong decline, halving from 64,000 to 31,500 last year.
Head of the Federal Office for Immigration and Asylum (BFA) Wolfgang Taucher was joined by Interior Minister Herbert Kickl in presenting the latest asylum report.
Taucher said the declining figures show that the effects of the migration crisis in Europe that begun in 2015 has been overcome. Of the 155,000 applications made since then, about 80 percent have now been processed.
He noted that there has also been an increased trend toward denied asylum outcomes.
The goal for 2018 will be to bring the number of asylum applications being processed to under 15,000 by May, and also to increase the number of repatriations. These numbered 11,974 last year.