Austria Re-introduces Checks on Border with HungaryEU | April 25, 2016, Monday // 20:05| views
Riot police clash with protesters during a rally against the Austrian government`s planned re-introduction of border controls at the Brenner Pass, Austria, 24 April 2016. Photo EPA/BGNES
Austria has re-introduced checks on its border with Hungary to curb the flow of irregular migrants, AP reported on Monday.
Austrian police have said that the number of attempts to smuggle illegal migrants into the country has increased since the Western Balkan migration route was closed to migrants earlier this year.
The border controls began to apply on Monday morning, according to AP. Police haven’t said how long the controls will remain in force.
The closure of the Western Balkan migration route leading from Greece to Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary and then further north to Austria, Germany and Sweden has increased concerns that migrants and refugees might attempt to enter Austria from Italy.
Therefore, continuous border controls will be introduced on Austria’s border with Italy at the end of May, the new Austrian Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka has said.
Austrian authorities have been reinforcing the border crossing at the Brenner Pass with Italy in recent weeks in preparation for what the government expects will be a new wave of refugees and migrants making their way to central Europe via Italy.
Border checks at the Brenner Pass are necessary “to continue to guarantee the security of Austria,” Sobotka said after a meeting with politicians in Tyrol federal region and Italy’s South Tyrol region over the weekend, according to thelocal.at.
On Sunday, scuffles broke out at the Brenner Pass between Austrian police and several hundreds of pro-refugee demonstrators protesting the planned re-introduction of border checks at the Alpine pass.
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