Due to increased migration, the Austrian Minister of Defence and Minister of the Interior are sending 400 soldiers to the Austrian-Hungarian border.
Austrian Interior Minister Karl Nehammer and Defence Minister Klaudia Tanner announced at a press conference that border protection would be strengthened due to the growing number of migrants arriving in Austria. Deutsche Welle writes that reinforced border protection currently means 400 soldiers.
If the situation worsens, they could send up to 2,000 soldiers to defend the borders.
“Austria is stepping up surveillance of its borders. The reason for this is that more and more migrants are coming to our country again,” said Interior Minister Karl Nehammer. Klaudia Tanner thinks similarly. Politicians from the Austrian People’s Party (ÖVB) reported on their experiences at a press conference in Vienna. Border protection initially means 400 soldiers. However, Tanner emphasised that they could deploy up to 2,000 soldiers if needed.
“The aim is to control migratory movements,”
said Tanner. “We are seeing an increase in the number of arrests at the Austrian border,” Nehammer added. The increase in migration is most significant on the Austrian-Hungarian border. However, they do not only strengthen the common border with Hungary. They also increase the strength of defence at their common borders with Slovenia and Slovakia. This year, 200 human traffickers have been caught, writes hvg.hu.
This year already 15,768 refugees were registered.
Last year this number was 21,700. Tanner has been critical of this. The Minister of Defence sharply criticised the European Commission. According to him, the European asylum system has failed. The measure introduced was welcomed by Christian Sagartz, leader of the easternmost province of Austria. Sagartz put it as an important signal in the fight against illegal migration.
In addition to illegal migration, the measures are aimed at effectively ending smuggling activities. In Sagartz’s view, all provinces and the whole of Austria could benefit from this. Right-wing politician Herbert Kickl welcomed the measure but also voiced criticism. He believes Nehammer is at least a year late with this decision, as 100 illegal migrants arrive in Austria every day.
Source: Deutsche Welle, hvg.hu