Austria is not planning to introduce border control with Italy so far, such measures could be implemented in future if the situation with the refugee influx worsens, Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern said on Wednesday.
VIENNA (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, the Kronen Zeitung newspaper reported citing country’s Defense Minister Hans Peter Doskozil that Austria was planning to strengthen the control on the border with Italy amid expectations of the next wave of migrants arriving in the country. According to the minister, 750 servicemen are ready to begin their service on the border, and four armored personnel carriers are prepared to be stationed at the Brenner Pass.
According to a joint statement by Kern and Doskozil made on Wednesday, the measures described by the minister are mere plans in case the situation with refugees’ influx worsens.
“In case the situation continues to deteriorate, we must take precautions. That is why, the Defense Ministry has already begun planning and preparations for the possible police assistance on the Italian border. But the police have also undertaken respective measures for setting up border management. The police are carrying out countervailing measures. However, soldiers or military equipment are not being used. One thing that is clear is that the situation as in 2015 cannot be allowed to repeat,” the statement said.
If the situation requires so in the future, the necessary decisions both at the Austrian and the European levels to introduce temporary border control could be made and implemented quickly, Kern and Doskozil added.
In late June, Italy reportedly started considering shutting its sea ports to foreign vessels, as many of the ships pick up immigrants at the sea and bring them to Italian soil.
According to the latest data of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), over 100,000 migrants and refugees arrived in Europe by sea in 2017, compared to over 230,000 in the same period in 2016.