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Herbert Kickl (Wikipedia); Geert Wilders

Austria to set up border protection unit to stop repeat of 2015 migrant crisis

Austria's new interior minister on Thursday was quoted as ordering the creation of a "border protection unit" to stop a repeat of the 2015 flood of migrants.

Published: January 21, 2018, 9:29 am

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    Vienna

    “A repeat of 2015 cannot be allowed to happen. Therefore I have given instructions for the creation of a border protection unit,” Herbert Kickl, member of the anti-immigration Freedom Party (FPÖ) said.

    “The aim is to ensure an orderly border management within a few hours,” Kickl told the Tiroler Tageszeitung , an Austrian daily. Hundreds of thousands of migrants passed through Austria into Germany and other countries promising large welfare benefits. Even though many were only passing through the country, they received a record number of asylum claims.

    “It is a standby police troop that if need be can secure a border crossing point and carry out identity checks. Just waving people through won’t happen again,” he added.

    The 49-year-old Kickl was the former speechwriter for late FPÖ leader Joerg Haider. Rising star Haider was killed in a suspicious car accident in 2008.

    The FPÖ is currently a junior coalition partner to the conservatives of Chancellor Sebastian Kurz. In 2000, there was a huge outcry in Europe by leftists when the party entered into government. This time however, the reality of the immigration crisis has boosted not only Austrian conservatives but anti-immigration parties in other EU states as well while mitigating the antagonisms against the FPÖ.

    The FPÖ’s new general secretary Harald Vilimsky, an MEP, said his party would remain in the European Parliament group that also includes the parties of prominent euroskeptics Marine Le Pen and Geert Wilders. He said the group was “a good working basis for us” and the FPÖ has freedom within the group.

    “We agreed in our talks with Kurz that international alliances are not an issue,” Vilimsky told Der Standard, an Austrian daily in an interview. “The aim is to get as many positive EU critics as possible under one roof,” he was quoted as saying.

    Vilimsky pointed out that there are currently three groups in the EU legislature critical of Brussels, and that British parties currently play a prominent role in the other two. Following European elections and Britain’s scheduled Brexit departure in 2019, Vilimsky said alliances were bound to be shaken up.

    Human Rights Watch, a pro-immigration George Soros-front, has harshly criticised the FPÖ.

    On January 11, 2018, at a press conference, Kickl said he wanted refugees and asylum seekers to be “concentrated in camps”. Leftists distorted his proposal to “concentration camps” and started a campaign against the “Nazi” Kickl.

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