Slovenia Against Austria’s Plans to Extend Border Controls

By , 09 Apr 2019, 10:00 AM Politics
Slovenia Against Austria’s Plans to Extend Border Controls Montage: JL Flanner

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STA, 8 April 2019 - Slovenian Interior Minister Boštjan Poklukar said on Monday there were no reasons for Austria to extend control on the borders with Slovenia and Hungary, as announced by his Austrian counterpart Herbert Kickl in a letter to the European Commission.

"This measure is unwarranted and disproportionate and there is no reason for it," Poklukar said, adding that Slovenia was protecting the Shengen border well and effectively.

Kickl justifies the extension with the assessment that the number of illegal migrants was still too high, and warns about a "latent threat of terrorism" due to the possibility of foreign fighters returning from Syria and Iraq.

Slovenia has been opposing Austria's continued checks on the border between the countries, arguing that the number of illegal migrants returned from Austria to Slovenia is very small.

The Slovenian Interior Ministry said today that the Slovenian authorities had accepted only 15 persons from the Austrian authorities in the first three months of the year.

"Protecting the Schengen border is our absolute priority," said Poklukar, noting that he had not been notified by the Austrian counterpart about the intention to extend checks on the border with Slovenia.

The minister nevertheless noted that "migrations are on the increase, which is why we are ready to cooperate with all countries in the Western Balkans as well as other countries, including Austria."

Since 2015, checks on internal Schengen borders are also being carried out by Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

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