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Austria to send armored vehicles to block migrants from Italy

Staff Writer | July 4, 2017
Austria has moved four armored vehicles close to its border with Italy to guard against migrants.
Peter Doskozil
Immigrants   The busy Alpine Brenner pass
Austria will likely set up controls on a key trade crossing "very soon", defence ministry officials said.

The planned controls will include the busy Alpine Brenner pass, a defense ministry spokesman said - a move that Italy warned last year would break EU rules on free movement.

"I expect border controls will be introduced very soon," De fence Minister Peter Doskozil told daily newspaper Kronenzeitung in an interview published on Tuesday.

Both Italy and Austria are members of the European Union's Schengen open-border zone, but free movement has been jeopardized by the reimposition of controls at many crossings across the bloc since the surge in migrants seen in 2015/16.

Doskozil's spokesman said there was no concrete timetable for the new controls.

"But we see how the situation in Italy is becoming more acute and we have to be prepared to avoid a situation comparable to summer 2015."