Austria Decides to Step Up Border Control After Balkan Route Closure

Austria Decides to Step Up Border Control After Balkan Route Closure © AP Photo/ Ronald Zak

16:51 12.03.2016Get short URL

Austria will strengthen the protection of the country’s borders and construct new fences at 12 border checkpoints after the closure of south-eastern Europe’s Balkan Route for migrants, Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner said in an interview partially released on Saturday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The countries that are situated on the so-called Balkan migration route have taken measures to tackle the migration through their territories, including the construction of fences and tightening the border control. On Monday, the EU-Turkey summit backed the decisions aimed to put an end to the Balkan route used by migrants to enter the EU states.

“After the closure of the Balkan route the refugees will use other routes… That’s why we are preparing to protect the Austrian border… the border control [will be strengthened] at 12 checkpoints,” Johanna Mikl-Leitner said in an interview with German Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

She said that additional police forces would be deployed in the vicinity of these checkpoints, adding that new fences would be constructed.

Europe is struggling to find a solution to a massive refugee crisis, resulting from hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing conflict-torn countries in the Middle East and North Africa in search of better life conditions in wealthy EU states.

In response to the growing number of migrants reaching their territories, some European states, such as Hungary, Bulgaria and Slovenia have built fences, while other states, including Austria and Germany, have toughened their migration policies.

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