Austria Plans to Block Migrant Influx from Italy

Austria has been strict with migrant issues in the recent months. In a recent interview with a local newspaper Austrian Defence Minister Hans Peter Doskozil said that Austria could implement border control on Brenner Pass. Four Pandur armoured personnel carriers have been already sent to the Tyrol region. Doskozil added that EU was not doing enough to deal with the problem.

In influx of migrants in Italy has increased in the recent months. Many European countries have raised alarm over rising migrants. Italy has protested and has asked other European nations to share the responsibility.

Italy called the Austrian Ambassador in Rome to discuss the issue. Austria currently has border checks with Slovenia and Hungary. As per UNHR report, 85,000 migrants have reached Italy during the first six months of 2017. The figure is 20 percent higher compared to refugee influx last year. As parliamentary election is scheduled in October in Austria, the political parties are closely watching migrant issues.

A ministry spokesman said, "These are not battle tanks. These are armored vehicles without weapons which could block roads. These were already used during the refugee crisis of 2015/16 at the Spielfeld border crossing with Slovenia."

The European Union has suggested a plan to deal with migrant influx. The plan includes Euro 46 million grant for Libya to improve its border control and deal with people smuggling gangs. The plan also includes Euro 35 million for Italy to improve handling of migrants and for returning migrants that have failed to get asylum.

As per the latest data, 101,000 migrants have entered Europe in 2017 via the Mediterranean and majority of them have landed in Italy. For majority of migrants, Italy serves just as an entry point. Most of them move to other European countries.