Austria's planned border fence "could cause domino effect"

The possible building of a fence on Austria's border with Slovenia could cause a domino effect, according to the Vienna daily Die Presse.

Source: Tanjug

The newspaper reports that Slovenia will soon decide whether to enact similar measures, if Vienna were to implement its announcements.

Slovenian Prime Minister Miro Cerar said his government is ready to stop the wave of refugees "by all means" if the situation worsened, added the paper.

Because of a new record number of refugees arriving there is "nervousness all over the place," the article continued, pointing out to the sharp criticism of Austria coming from the German province of Bavaria, which was for the first time joined by a member of the German government, Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere.

The Austrian Interior Ministry rejected this criticism and said that thousands of people are coming to Austria with only one goal - to reach Germany.

However, Germany is taking in fewer and fewer refugees every day - as the paper pointed out "only 50 people per hour - which is why, according to the Austrian ministry, "refugees organize themselves in order to cross the border."

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann, in the meantime, opposes the building of a border fence, taking a stance contrary to that of some members of the Austrian government.

Faymann has reacted to Internal Affairs Johanna Mikl-Leitner's order to produce "a plan of building measures" on the border with Slovenia, which she said was "of course a fence" - and added that "each fence also has a gate."

"There will be no fences either toward Hungary or Slovenia," Faymann said in a statement to the Austrian state broadcaster ORF.

The chancellor stressed that Mikl-Leitner should say what exactly she is planning on the border with Slovenia, and clarify with Germany whether it is necessary to change anything in terms of border control.

It is clear, according to him, there will not be fewer refugees regardless of the technical means that will be used, or organizational changes, and added that anyone claiming differently was misleading the public.

Faymann remarked that in order to reduce the migrant wave - "it is necessary first of all to improve the situation in the crisis regions."

After to Mikl-Leitner's announcements, Faymann also spoke with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who requested "a clarification."

In a telephone conversation, they "agreed that fences have no place in Europe," a statement said.

Faymann and Juncker also "agreed it is essential to as soon possible implement the decisions taken at Sunday's meeting with the Western Balkan countries, in order to prevent a humanitarian disaster in the Western Balkans."


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