Austria has deployed troops and armored vehicles to close its border with Italy to prevent masses of immigrants from pouring through. It will soon be sending up to 750 troops to prevent migrant’s crossing at Brenner pass, a key trade and transport route. “We are ready to protect our Brenner border if necessary,” said Sebastian Kurz, the Austrian foreign minister.
Italy has summoned the Austrian ambassador, and rebuked Austria for contravening the EU’s rules on free movement.
Austria has had severe burdens with migrants, which will certainly affect elections next year if not addressed. Recent headlines have included “Migrant Rape Epidemic Reaches Austria – Gatestone Institute”, “Austria spending BILLIONS on migrants as cost of refugee crisis” and “How Austria has become central to Europe’s migration crisis.”
Italy has warned that after taking hundreds of thousands of migrants, it is now at the breaking point. Paolo Gentiloni, the prime minister, has said further influxes will result in social unrest in Italy. They have threatened to close their ports to NGO boats carrying refugees, and sending them to France or Spain.
This year alone, Italy has received over 85,000 asylum seekers crossing the Mediterranean from Libya. The EU is attempting to put together a relief package to ease the problems there, however funding appears to be on the low side at less than $100 million.
Author’s note: The European Union has porous borders by design, so little is stopping refugees from settling anywhere they like. Austria wishes to avoid the financial and cultural burdens suffered by other countries, even this overt and provocative act may not prevent problems.
As we have said in the past, this is a huge problem in Europe and may indeed lead to its downfall. Some background: