Austria deployed tanks and troops to its border with Italy on Tuesday in an effort to stop the uncontrolled influx of illegal immigrants into the country.
In response, Italy’s foreign ministry announced it had summoned Austria’s Ambassador Rene Pollitzer “following the Austrian government’s statement about deploying troops to the Brenner (pass)”.
B92.net reports: “I expect that very soon border controls will be activated and that an assistance deployment will be requested,” Austrian Defense Minister Hans Peter Doskozil told the Krone daily.
Doskozil added that the measures would be “indispensable” if the inflow of migrants from Africa into Italy does not ease, Beta reported, citing AFP.
According to Krone, “750 soldiers are available” while “four armored vehicles have already been sent to the area over the weekend.”
The UN recently announced that 83,650 migrants arrived in Italy across the Mediterranean Sea this year – nearly 20 more than in the first half of 2016.
Most of them departed from Libya, while more than 2,000 drowned during their journey.
“This is not sustainable. We need to have other countries joining Italy and sharing that responsibility,” UNHCR’S special envoy for the central Mediterranean Vincent Cochete told reporters in Geneva.