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Austria reinforces army presence on Italian border

Staff Writer | August 11, 2017
Austria is building up a stronger police and military presence on it borders in an attempt to reduce the number of asylum seekers trying to enter via Italy, Slovakia, Slovenia and Hungary.
Austria Italy border
Europe   Police and military forces
Austria is to reinforce its border with Italy, according to several newspaper reports in both Italy and Austria, to stem the tide of illegal migrants crossing on foot and by car, The Local reported.

A larger presence of security officials will mean more stringent border checks and patrols.

According to a report in Il Giornale, Austrian Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka has issued the order for a stronger police and army presence on all borders.

More than 16,000 people have nevertheless applied for asylum in Austria in the first half of 2017, despite most of the borders having been partly closed for six months, reports

In 2015, Austria – like Germany – opened its borders to refugees and took in nearly 50,000 people fleeing mainly from Syria and Afghanistan. In 2017 the borders were again closed.

Amidst reports that large numbers of people are trying to cross into Austria from Italy on quiet alpine routes, reported that Austria sent four tanks and 750 soldiers to monitor the area in early July.