Austria turns to new border controls

Austria will extend border controls to control refugee influx if Turkey does not take back rescued refugees

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Refugees waiting to cross into Spielfeld in Austria

Austria’s Chancellor Werner Faymann said border controls will be increased if Turkey does not take back refugees recently rescued at sea on their way to Greece.

Mr. Faymann sees Turkey as an effective solution to control the refugee influx heading to Europe.

The new border management system to be introduced at Spielfeld is expected to speed up the applications process for the refugees as well as redirect them to other countries.

In an interview with the daily Oesterreich newspaper, Faymann added that even more border controls might be necessary in the future if Turkey does not accept Austria's suggestion.

The chancellor stressed that Turkey should decide by  Feb 18, when EU leaders will hold a summit to discuss several European issues.

Faymann was also quoted as saying that Turkish border controls would attract 10,000 refugees instead of 20,000 which would not solve the issue.

"Then we must secure our borders even more," Faymann said. "To protect internal borders is a makeshift solution. But we have to be prepared."

Austria is set to take in some 37,500 refugees this year. The 8.4 million population country received 90,000 applications for asylum last year and has been struggling to cope with the influx.

More than one million people arrived in Europe last year, fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa.

TRTWorld, Reuters