EU FALLING APART: Italy lashes out at Austria as it builds migrant border fences

Thursday, April 28, 2016
By Paul Martin

THE European Union’s Schengen agreement is falling apart at the seams after Italy hit out at Austria for building a fence at its border to block migrants.

Thu, Apr 28, 2016

Tensions in Europe are at boiling point after Austria outlined plans on Wednesday to install a 370 metre-long fence at the Brenner Pass, which is the busiest route through the Alps for heavy goods vehicles.

It comes just weeks after the country announced large fences are also to be built at the Moschendorf, Heiligenbrunn, Heiligenkreuz and Nickelsdorf border crossing points throughout the Burgenland region, before migrants travelling by foot arrive.

Italian interior minister Angelino Alfano criticised the plans as the numbers of migrants passing from Italy to Austria were at their lowest levels for years.

Mr Alfano said: “The logic of raising barriers is unacceptable.

“I will tell him very clearly that unilateral decisions go against European rules.”There are also concerns any toughening of border controls at the Brenner Pass would slow traffic on an important route from Italy to Germany, Italy’s top trading partner.

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