The European Union sends a letter to Vienna requiring explanation for the construction of its anti-migrant barrier at the Italian border.
The European Union has sent a letter to Vienna in order to demand an explanation for the construction of the new border-control post, as this move could represent a violation of the Schengen accord.
On Tuesday the Commissioner for Migrants, Dimitris Avramopoulos has already voiced its concern over Austria’s plan to reintroduce controls on its border with Italy as a way to prevent a new migrant influx.
Meanwhile, border patrols and checks have intensified due to huge amounts of refugees that are attempting the Mediterranean route through Italy . Latest figures show that 6,000 have reached Italy in the past three days alone.
Amid fears of new migrants’ influx, Austria’s anti-migrant barrier have been dodged already
After receiving 90,000 asylum claims last year, Austria has adopted an increasingly strict position towards new migrants’ influx. Border controls has already been strengthened along its borders with Slovenia and Hungary.
Construction work of the barrier on the border with Italy has already begun. Traffic checks to limit migrants ‘ access will supposedly be carried out as early as May from a car park just inside Austria.
In addition to the barrier, a new registration centre will also be built on the Austrian side of the Brenner Pass border.
Recently, Austria’s fears are well-founded since migrants have tried to cross the border through the Brenner Pass.
However, the barrier have been dodged even before its completion, as people smugglers are leading migrants into Northern Europe along old donkey paths in the Alps between Italy and Austria.
Every night around 50 migrants pay smugglers 200 euros each to be led through the trails, located deep within the woods above the Brenner Pass. After few hours, migrants arrive in the Austrian border town of Gries, reports the Mail Online.
For more information on Austria’s anti-migration barrier, read “AUSTRIA BUILDS BARRIERS: BRENNER PASS CLOSED FOR MIGRANTS.”
Italy’s reaction to migrants’ surge
The Italian government is preparing its reaction to a possible major surge in the number of people seeking access to Europe via Libya and Italy. Fears are mounting that migrants risk languishing in Italy because of the hardening of migration policy among its neighbours .
It has asked local authorities to find an additional 15,000 beds for asylum seekers and it will soon appeal to Brussels for further support. “We won’t look away if someone is breaking the rules, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi was quoted as saying by The Wall Street Journal, “We are confident they won’t.”
European Council President Donald Tusk on Wednesday said the EU had to be prepared to step in to help Italy, and potentially Malta, if the exodus from Libya accelerates.
“The numbers of would-be migrants in Libya are alarming,” Tusk said. “We must be prepared to help and show solidarity to Malta and Italy, should they request it.”