Austrian troops to stop migrants crossing border with Italy

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Austrian troops to stop migrants crossing border with Italy

Riot police clashed with protesters during a rally against the Austrian government’s planned reintroduction of border controls at the Brenner Pass last year. Photograph: Jan Hetfleisch/EPA

Articolo tratto da The Guardian

Austria has announced it is ready to use soldiers and tanks to stop migrants crossing its border with Italy, as Brussels urged Europe to help Italian authorities manage an “unprecedented” arrival of people from north Africa.

Austrian defence minister Hans Peter Doskozil announced that four Pandur armoured personnel carriers had been sent to the Tyrol region and 750 troops were on standby.

Speaking to the Kronen Zeitung, Doskozil said troops on the Brenner pass would be “indispensable” if large numbers of people continued to arrive in Italy from the central Mediterranean. He told the popular daily newspaper that border controls on the busy Alpine pass would be reintroduced very soon, although his office said no timetable for the measures was fixed.

Austria and Italy are both part of the EU’s border-free Schengen zone, which eliminates passport checks at the frontier. Many countries reintroduced some border controls after 1 million refugees and migrants arrived in Europe in 2015.

Migration is a highly charged topic in Austria and Italy, which both face elections in the next 12 months.

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Riot police clashed with protesters during a rally against the Austrian government’s planned reintroduction of border controls at the Brenner Pass last year. Photograph: Jan Hetfleisch/EPA

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