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3 Mar, 2020 15:29

Austria won’t take in migrants storming Turkish-Greek border – interior minister

Austria won’t take in migrants storming Turkish-Greek border – interior minister

Trying to make it into Austria “makes no sense” as the country will not let any arrivals in, the interior minister warned, just as the Austrian chancellor accused Turkey of using migrants to “attack” the EU.

“There are people [encouraged by] false promises brought to the Turkey-Greece border, partly in an organized manner,” Interior Minister Karl Nehammer told journalists Tuesday, in an explicit reference to the thousands of migrants allowed to leave Turkey by a surprise order from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  

Coming to Austria “makes no sense” as its borders will be kept shut to any illegal arrivals – just like the EU’s external frontiers.

We will not take them, and it makes no sense to set out. We will convey this message through various social media and in different languages. 

Austria became part of a large passageway for thousands of asylum seekers who used the border-free Schengen area to reach Western European nations back in 2015. Now, Austrian authorities seem to be better prepared to avert a similar crisis, Nehammer said. 

“Yes, we have learnt from 2015, we have more police officers available, we have better equipment available for these officers, and we have improved our operational tactics,” the minister told reporters. 

To back up the country’s police force, a supporting mission of the Austrian armed forces will be prolonged, according to the official.

Also on rt.com Austrian Chancellor Kurz blasts Turkey for migration ‘attack’ against EU

Turkey, which harbored millions of migrants under a deal with Brussels, changed its mind and opened the floodgates to thousands of people over the weekend. Some tried to storm the land border with Greece, while others tried to use inflatable boats. 

On his part, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz described the move as an attack “on the European Union and Greece,” and also a “test for the EU.” He claimed Ankara organized the exodus to use it as “a weapon and a pressure tool” against the bloc.

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