Austria deploys security forces on borders with Slovakia

  • Tomáš Hošek
  • 24.9.2017 13:52

Austrian Defence Minister Hans Peter Doskozil said on 20 September in an interview with Die Welt that the Balkan migration route is still open, which forces Austria to launch covert checks using both police and military close to the border with Slovakia.

According to Doskozil, more than 12,000 migrants have applied for asylum in Austria so far this year, with more than 8,000 reaching the country through the Balkan route. Due to the significant tightening of border controls by Hungary and Macedonia, illegal smugglers opt for alternative routes via Romania or Bulgaria and further north through Slovakia. Most migrants set off from Serbia and Greece, which registered an intensified migration flow via the Mediterranean Sea in August. In recent months, the smugglers have also started to send migrants from Turkey to Romania via the Black Sea. This summer, Austria imposed temporary border controls on the borders with Italy and Slovenia, which subsequently drew criticism from Slovenian government officials due to the negligible number of migrants crossing the border. During the interview, Doskozil also spoke out in favour of resettling migrants among all members of the EU, a proposal relentlessly refused by the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary. Hungary and Slovakia's objections against the refugee quotas were rejected by the EU Court of Justice in September.

About author: Tomáš Hošek

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