Austrian leader: EU could never digest Turkey joining

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BERLIN (AP) — Austria's chancellor says the European Union could "never, ever" digest the economic impact of Turkey joining, underlining his country's hard line against membership.

Austria has been among Ankara's most outspoken critics in the 28-nation EU and argued for freezing membership talks with Turkey.

Chancellor Christian Kern told Thursday's edition of German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that "it must be legitimate to say: 'You simply are not a membership candidate'." He added that Austria has advanced not only arguments about the state of Turkish democracy but also economic ones.

Kern said: "In purely economic terms, Europe could never, ever digest Turkey's accession. How is that supposed to work?"

He also said that "Turkey has crossed almost all red lines" on issues such as its treatment of journalists and lawmakers.

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