Austria steps up border protection to curb refugee influx

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, February 10, 2016
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Austria began to fully implement its southern border protection measures on Monday in anticipation of a renewed increase of refugees wishing to cross into the country, officials said Tuesday.

The efforts started with a "fully operational" three-day training phase at the southern crossing site on the shared border with Slovenia, Minister of the Interior Johanna Mikl-Leitner and Minister of Defence Hans Peter Doskozil told reporters.

Armed forces will be on hand to assist the operations.

Neither minister would confirm how many refugees would be allowed into Austria daily in light of the government's decision to limit the asylum seeker intake for the year. They said a number would be released in the coming days and neighboring countries would be notified first.

Austrian authorities expect tougher entry controls would prompt some refugees, whose final destination is Germany, to try to enter Austria via border towns of Nickelsdorf and Brenner, situated on borders with Hungary and Italy respectively.

Should the refugee influx at these two sites increase dramatically, an armed forces presence along with potential fences will reportedly follow. Endi

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