Austria To Build Fence Along Its Border With Slovenia – Assures It Is Merely To ‘Bring Order’ To The Migrant Flow

Austria has decided to erect a fence along parts of border it shares with its neighboring country, Slovenia. However, the country has categorically mentioned that the border fence is merely to bring order to the flow of migrants.

Always the one to strongly criticize fencing of borders to keep out migrants, Austria announced Wednesday that it will soon erect barriers along the border with Slovenia. But the country assured that the move wasn’t to seal its border, but was merely meant to “bring order to the flow of people entering the country.”

Austrian interior minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner informed the parliament that the construction of the border fence, which has been dubbed as the “technical barriers,” is expected to begin after about 10 days of planning, reported Agencia EFE. She, however, did not specific the date, perhaps fearing a surge of migrants who would then attempt to enter Austria before its borders are sealed. Talking with the state broadcaster ORF, she mentioned the “barriers” were needed to maintain public order. Moreover, she categorically noted that Austria was building a border fence only around select sections of the border, and there were no plans “to build a fence around Austria.” Meanwhile, Defense Minister Gerald Klug indicated that the railings or “containers” could be set up to “be able to control the refugees in an orderly way,” reported Belfast Telegraph.

It has been observed that Slovenia is the main entry point for migrants heading for Austria. The tiny country of 2 million residents openly complained about the migrants flooding in. In the past few days, over 60,000 refugees have entered Slovenia, confirmed its administration, which cautioned that if the European Union doesn’t do something about the migrant crisis soon, the country will be overrun by refugees.

Austria To Build Fence Along Its Border With Slovenia
(Photo by Matt Cardy / Getty Images)

Incidentally, it was Slovenia which had announced its intentions to build a border fence first. However, unlike Austria, Slovenia may seal its border with Croatia. In fact, Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar had indicated that the country was prepared to put up the fence “immediately” if the leaders of the EU and those of the Balkan regions failed to come up with a solution that would “stem the migrant surge.”

While Slovenian & Austrian administrations appeared to be discussing building fences to curtail the flow, Germany, the country most migrants prefer, may have already taken precautionary steps to reduce the migrant load. Germany’s interior minister, Thomas de Maiziere, added that while Syrian citizens would be accepted, those fleeing Afghanistan will most likely be denied entry and sent back to their homeland, reported the Los Angeles Times.

The Hungarians have already sealed their borders, forcing the migrants taking the western Balkans route to enter Austria, Croatia, and Slovenia. Thousands of such displaced people have been trying to seek shelter, giving rise to one of the largest human migrations in modern history.

The leaders of the European Union had met on the weekend to discuss the migrant crisis, but appeared to have failed to come up with a solution that is acceptable to all. In fact, a draft, which suggested that countries simply can’t usher the migrants into their neighboring countries without seeking permission, was opposed even before it could be tabled.

Austria To Build Fence Along Its Border With Slovenia
(Photo by Rene Gomolj / Getty Images)

Austria’s announcement to build a border fence comes as a surprise, because the country has always advocated a border-free European Union. In fact, Austria has already invoked the principle of free movement within the EU, and has been strongly opposing fencing off the borders.

Though Austria’s intentions of a border-free EU are noble, it has complained that Germany has been taking too few migrants, forcing other countries to take on a lot more. Do you think Austria is right in partially fencing its borders?

[Photo by Christopher Furlong / Getty Images]

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