Prison » Austria stages dramatic anti-migrant exercise as it prepares to lead EU immigration crackdown and warring leaders struggle to deal with crisis

Daily Mail
June 26, 2018

Austria today staged a dramatic border protection exercise as it prepares to assume the EU presidency and push for hardline immigration measures as the bloc is gripped by increasingly bitter divisions over the migrant crisis.

Austrian leader Sebastian Kurz will assume the EU’s rotating presidency on July 1 and has vowed to make migrants claim asylum before entering the bloc.

That policy echoes the position of Italy, which has started turning away migrant vessels and proposed setting up processing centres in Libya and other countries of origin.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is also locked in a struggle with her hardline government coalition partners that threatens to topple her government, and a summit between EU leaders on Sunday made little progress on tackling the crisis.

Kurz fears if Germany unilaterally closes its southern border then other EU nations will follow suit.

Today heavily armed policemen – wearing helmets and body armour while carrying riot shields – were on display to show Germany that Austria is willing to shut its own borders if Merkel‘s interior minister follows through with his threat to close the Bavarian frontier.

Thousands of migrants poured through Europe’s open borders daily three years ago, triggering a humanitarian and political crisis that has left deep divisions on the continent.

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This article was posted: Tuesday, June 26, 2018 at 7:13 am

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