Austria plans to deploy military at border with Italy

  • Tomáš Krajňák
  • 5.7.2017 19:59

Austria's defence minister Hans Peter Doskozil officially announced on 4 July that Austria has moved four armoured vehicles to the Brenner pass and is ready to deploy 750 soldiers within three days to guard its border with Italy against migrants.

Border controls at the Alpine Brenner pass, which represents one of the crucial roads between South and Central Europe, are in a line with a plan introduced last week by Doskozil and Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka to further slow the stream of migrants into Austria. At that occasion, Doskozil also warned of a new trend of smugglers using Slovakia. Both ministers also called for stricter controls on rail routes. However, as the number of arriving migrants to Italy is increasing and Italy has become the main point of entry to Europe, the focus is now centred on Italy to avoid a situation comparable to summer 2015, Doskozil said. Italy came with a critical response and its foreign ministry summoned the Austrian ambassador to Rome for an explanation. Although Austria's attitude towards migration remains negative in the long term, the current statements are perceived by some as connected to the upcoming parliamentary elections in October.

About author: Tomáš Krajňák

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