EU to Assess Any Border-Control Measures Taken by Austria

The European Commission said it will assess any new border-control measures implemented by Austria.

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“The commission is very concerned,” commission spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud told reporters in Brussels on Tuesday. “For the moment, we have only seen announcements in the press, but if these plans should materialize, then we will have to look at them very seriously.”

The Austrian government indicated earlier this month that it may send troops to the Brenner Pass, a key link between Austria and Italy, for border control, Welt reported, citing Austrian Defense Minister Hans Peter Doskozil. German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere warned Italy on April 6 that it risks prompting travel restrictions on the Brenner Pass route if it sends refugees on toward Austria and Germany.

“The Brenner Pass is essential for the freedom of movement within the European Union,” Bertaud said on Tuesday. “For the time being, there is no evidence that flows of irregular migrants are shifting from Greece to Italy, though we have seen an increase in the number of people arriving to Italy. Since mid-March, more than 15,000 people have arrived from Libya to Italy.”

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