Austrian Interior Minister Gerhard Karner has announced that the landlocked alpine nation plans to extend checks at its borders with Hungary and Slovenia by a further six months from May 11.
Austria wants to extend controls at its borders with Hungary and Slovenia by another six months, Interior Minister Gerhard Karner told Austria’s ORF radio on Tuesday (April 11).
Karner said Austria saw “high migratory pressure” in the last year with over 110,000 asylum applications, so “it was necessary” to continue the controls.
“In February of this year we had 2,600 asylum applications, while in November last year there were 12,000 asylum applications…in order to continue on this consistent path, the controls must be continued,” he said.
The minister said irregular migration numbers in Austria are declining due to the controls.
External border control ‘necessary’
According to Karner, the continued suspension of the Schengen area’s free-travel rules at those borders was also necessary to combat irregular immigration.
Vienna plans to extend the border checks from May 11, when the current six-month suspension of free travel over those boundaries expires, Karner said.
“We will inform the European Commission in the coming days that we will have to extend these border checks… to prevent the abuse of asylum,” the conservative minister added.
He did not specify incurring costs, only stating that “As long as the EU’s external border protection doesn’t work, we have to invest money.”
Regarding the allegations of migrant pushbacks by Croatia, Karner noted there were “allegations that must of course be checked,” adding how “difficult it is to secure these borders.”
Source : Infomigrants