The Austrian ambassador was summoned by the Italian Foreign Ministry on Tuesday over Vienna’s decision to deploy troops at the border and to reintroduce border controls following the huge influx of migrants into Italy. Austria announced its readiness to deploy both troops and armored vehicles at its border for mitigating the growing migrant inflow from Italy.
Austrian government official Hans Peter Doskozil (the country’s Defense Minister)was quoted by Krone daily as saying, let me quote:
“We need to prepare for the migration development in Italy, and I expect very promptly that border controls will have to be activated and assistance requested,”
The Austrian government official announced the deployment of 750 troops and 4 Pandur armored vehicles to the Italian border, a measure described as indispensable provided the migrant influx does not diminish. According to Hans Peter Doskozil, the forces can be fully deployed in 72 hours tops. Reuters quoted a spokesman for Hans Peter Doskozil explaining the situation as it follows:
“These are not battle tanks. These are armored vehicles without weapons which could block roads. These were already used during the refugee crisis 201/16 at the Spielfeld border crossing [with Slovenia],”
Border controls will be instituted also at one of the most import mountain passes in the Alps, which makes for the border between Italy and Austria, the Alpine Brenner pass respectively. After Italian officials were warned about the deployment of Austrian troops at the border as part of Austria’s intent to protect its frontier with Italy, Rene Politzer, the Austrian ambassador to Italy was summoned to the Defense Ministry’s HQ in Rome.
Austria took similar measures back in 2015 when it introduced controls at its border with Hungary and was ready to install barriers on the south-west border with Italy. UN’s refugee agency estimates that over 85,000 migrants have arrived in Italy by sea this year, a completely unsustainable figure, as over 70% of them are not fleeing conflicts nor persecution, i.e. they’re economic migrants/welfare shoppers.
Italy sends all its ships to give a free taxi service for Africans, and then blames Austria for defending its citizens and border integrity? Pure lunacy.
Photo © Dominic Ebenbichler / Reuters