Another refugee crisis in Europe brews as Austria mulls Italian border closing
The Italian government has summoned Austria's ambassador after the government in Vienna announced it was ready to re-introduce border controls, suspend the EU's Schengen system and deploy troops at the border.
Published: July 5, 2017, 9:30 am
Italy had warned that the current flood of migrant arrivals was unsustainable and that it could close its ports and impound aid agencies’ rescue ships, but the Italians are furious with an Austrian decision to deploy troops and armored vehicles along the border to block migrants wanting to leave Italy.
Austrian Defence Minister Hans Peter Doskozil told Austrian daily, Kronen Zeitung that troops would guard a busy Alpine pass and that four Pandur armoured personnel carriers had been sent to the Tyrol region with 750 troops on standby.
“We need to prepare for the migration development in Italy, and I expect very promptly that border controls will have to be activated and assistance requested,” Hans Peter Doskozil told the online edition of the Krone daily.
Doskozil said that a military presence at the Brenner Pass would be “indispensable if the influx into Italy [across the Mediterranean] does not diminish”. The Brenner pass is one of the main mountain thoroughfares in the eastern Alps.
“We see how the situation in Italy is becoming more acute and we have to be prepared to avoid a situation comparable to summer 2015,” Doskozil’s spokesman told Reuters, without giving a specific timetable for the troop deployment.
The Austrian Defence minister however explained that “these are not battle tanks. These are armored vehicles without weapons which could block roads. These were already used during the refugee crisis 201/16 at the Spielfeld border crossing [with Slovenia].”
Italy’s foreign ministry said in response it had summoned Austrian Ambassador Rene Pollitzer “following the Austrian government’s statement about deploying troops to the Brenner (pass)”.
While Austria has set up border control with Hungary and Slovenia, it has previously adhered to the EU’s Schengen system with neighbouring Italy. The Schengen Agreement enables border-free travel in much of the EU.
Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz told the Austria Press Agency that his government was prepared to “protect” the frontier with Italy “if necessary”.
The Italian governor of South Tyrol, Arno Kompatscher, tried to defuse mounting tensions between Italy and Austria. According to the BBC, he said similar warnings on border control had been issued previously, while the situation there had remained “quiet and stable”. Kompatscher also noted that the anti-immigration Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) was expected to poll strongly which would explain the move blocking te border.
Almost 85 000 migrants and refugees have already arrived in Italy in the first half of this year, crossing the Mediterranean with the help of human smugglers. The UN refugee agency UNHCR says that is about 20 percent more than in the first half of 2016.
Vincent Cochetel, the UNHCR’S special envoy for the central Mediterranean, criticised the Austrian decision saying “this is not sustainable. We need to have other countries joining Italy and sharing that responsibility”. But very few countries in the EU want to “share the responsibility” of Germany’s generous refugee acceptance program.
Ironically, the latest report by the same UNHCR, revealed more troubling figures: Few “refugees” will ever be granted asylum, as at least 70 percent of those arriving in Italy are economic migrants. Most migrants and refugees are young, single and male with little or no education from countries not currently engaged in conflict.
In 2015, an influx of migrants and refugees coming through Central Europe via the Balkans, headed for Germany, sparking a crisis. Since then, tighter border controls in the Balkans have reduced the numbers heading north from Greece. Most of the influx to Austria was via Hungary.
So far 101 000 migrants have entered Europe in 2017 via the Mediterranean.
All rights reserved. You have permission to quote freely from the articles provided that the source (www.freewestmedia.com) is given. Photos may not be used without our consent.
Consider donating to support our work
Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.
Keep your language polite. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in, for example, Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.
If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violations of any law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.
If your comments are subject to preview by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.
We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.
CLIMATEThe United States' government scientific organization, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), predicts zero sunspots from 2031 to 2040. This is an extreme situation that has not occurred in as long as humanity has been counting sunspots, and it leads us into uncharted territory in terms of our solar system. However, this prediction aligns with the warnings of the world-renowned solar researcher Valentina Zharkova for many years, who indicated in 2019 various signs of this catastrophic phenomenon, including the extreme hailstorms we have seen in Europe and the world this summer. The forecast and various observations this year give cause for very significant concern. In this unique analysis, Free West Media explains why.
EUROPEAN ELECTIONSOn Saturday, August 26, representatives of six European nationalist parties gathered in Budapest. The meeting was initiated by the Hungarian party Mi Hazánk and took place in the national parliament. Representatives of the parties signed a joint declaration that not only reaffirms the parties' friendship but also their unity on a range of complex political issues. A surprisingly clear and radical manifesto was established. The hope is that this cooperation will lead to success in the EU elections and eventually result in the formation of a group in the European Parliament. For Swedish nationalism, this meeting marks a success as Sweden, for the first time, has a party represented in a leading nationalist cooperation in Europe. Free West Media was present at this historic event.
Sweden will have to wait a bit longer for NATO membership, according to Turkey's Justice Minister Jilmaz Tunc. First, Sweden must extradite the "terrorists" Turkey wants and stop the desecration of the Quran.
The Russian attack helicopter Ka-52 is considered one of the world's best and has struck fear in Ukraine, where it has hunted down tanks and other armored vehicles, often beyond the range of many light anti-aircraft systems. However, it has met its match in the Swedish air defense missile system RBS 70, which has quickly led to significant losses for the Russian helicopter forces.
Alternative for Germany (AfD) held a party conference on July 29-30 to select candidates for the upcoming EU election next year. EU Parliament member Maximilian Krah, belonging to the party's more radical, ethnonationalist faction, was appointed as the top candidate. The party's two spokespersons delivered powerful speeches criticizing the EU's failed migration policy and trade sanctions that isolate Europe and Germany from the rest of the world. They argued that it's time for the EU to return a significant portion of its power to national parliaments. However, they have dropped the demand for Germany to exit the EU.
The rising popularity of AfD has raised strong concerns within the establishment. Despite lies and demonization in the media and isolation from the overall political establishment, the party continues to grow. Certain representatives of the party are accused of becoming increasingly "extreme," and in an unusual move, the influential weekly newspaper Der Spiegel demanded that AfD be "banned."
What is happening in the Netherlands? It is often difficult to follow events in other countries, especially when distorted by system media. We give Forum for Democracy (FvD) the opportunity to speak out on the political situation in the Netherlands and the staunch resistance they face in trying to save the country.
After a criminal complaint in Belgium against the President of the European Commission, the so-called SMS-case, now takes a new turn. The judge responsible for the investigation will likely gain access to the secret messages exchanged between Ursula von der Leyen and Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, at least if they haven't been deleted.
Arktos has distinguished itself by publishing groundbreaking philosophers and social critics. Now, the publisher's international distributor has abruptly terminated the cooperation, and more than 400 already printed titles cannot reach their audience. There is strong evidence that the distributor has been under pressure, something that has also happened in Sweden. We have spoken with Arktos founder Daniel Friberg about the ongoing struggle for freedom of speech in a shrinking cultural corridor.
The Catholic bishops of the Scandinavian countries presented an open five-page letter criticizing transgender ideology on March 21, just before Easter. The document primarily expresses care and advice and was read aloud in Catholic churches in Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland. Cardinal Anders Arborelius, Bishop of Stockholm, is one of the signatories of the document.