Austria to raise fence on border with Slovenia

Austria plans to control its border with Slovenia by fence in order to manage refugee influx

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Last week refugees walked from Slovenia to Austria

Updated Oct 30, 2015

Austria on Wednesday announced plans to raise a fence on its Slovenian border to control the refugee influx into the country.

However, Austria pointed out that the border will not close. Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann said the aim is to better control arriving refugees who will be entering the country from specific points. 

While Austria continues on this plan, Germany has said earlier that deportations are to come for those who failed to get asylum. German Interior Minister Thomas de Maziere accused Austria of illegally letting refugees into Germany.

Last week, Slovenia announced that it might raise a fence on its border with Croatia, adding it to the list of the countries who also took such measures. Hungary and Croatia had made same decisions forsaking many refugees either in or out of their borders. Serbia, Romania and Bulgaria are also considering to act accordingly.

Around 85,000 refugees entered into Slovenia the past 10 days after Hungary closed its borders with Croatia.

11 EU states and three non-EU countries have agreed on Sunday to help the situation by creating space for 50,000 refugees in newly built reception centres in the Balkans. They also promised to send 400 guards to Slovenia to control the border and to help with the refugee registrations.

"If the situation worsens and the Brussels action plan is not fulfilled, then Slovenia has several scenarios prepared, including the installation of a fence guarded by forces," said Slovenian Foreign Minister Karl Erjavec.

As Austria continues with its plan, its chancellor Werner Faymann has stated that a fence will be placed at the Spielfeld border through which refugees cross to Slovenia. Contrary to other country’s fences, this one will not resemble those razor wires.

"We want to be able to carry out controls on people, and that one needs certain technical security measures," the chancellor told reporters.

At the same time, Faymann and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker stated that "fences have no place in Europe."

"President Juncker called on Chancellor Faymann to work closely together with the Commission and UNHCR to ensure that the 50,000 objective is reached as soon as possible, including by means of an Austrian contribution," they said.

Meanwhile, another boat sank while refugees were trying to reach Greece through Turkey. As a result of the tragic event, at least three refugees drowned and 242 rescued in the Greek island of Lesbos.

"We do not have a picture of how many people may be missing yet," a Greek coastguard spokesperson said.

Moreover, three boats have also capsized between Turkey and Greece due to weather conditions.

This issue raises many concerns as the weather is getting colder every day, making the refugees' journey even harder.

According to UN figures, more than 700,000 refugees have traveled by boat and passed to Europe, while more then 3,000 died in attempt.

TRTWorld and agencies