After months of saying erecting a border fence would be politically and morally impossible Austria is now building border defences, but they are to be frustrated by the Catholic church which owns land in the affected area.
The new border fence, which will stretch to “several kilometres”, is designed to protect Austria around the Moschendorf border crossing with Hungary. Yet the construction plan takes the fence over two plots of land owned by the Catholic church, and the diocese has rejected permission to build, reports Kronen Zeitung.
A Church spokesman said of the diocesan ruling that wanting to build the fence at all is “contrary to the spirit of the Gospel, the clear message of Pope Francis to Europe and in particular of a diocese that existed for decades in the shadow of the Iron Curtain, and has spared no effort in recent months for people fleeing to give them a roof over their heads, dignity and warmth”.
Bishop Zsifkovics re-enforced this position in a statement, when he said: “I was raised under the Iron Curtain and still know what it meant for us all and for Burgenland for freedom and awakening, as the fence finally fell”. The Bishop said “the answer is not the fence, but if necessary, the hole in the fence”.
The Austria border gap is just the latest embarrassment for the nation’s reluctantly-embarked upon fence building programme. Breitbart London reported in November 2015 on the first fence to go up, proudly announced as an “EU compliant border barrier”.
At just 2.3 miles long, the “Schengen compliant” fence was so short anyone determined to enter Austria illegally could easily walk around it. The fence finished half a mile short of the natural border barrier of the Mur river, and the Austrian government even released a handy map showing exactly where the gaps were.
The leader of the Freedom Party of Austria, who might yet see his candidate succeed in this weekend’s presidential elections, called the debacle over the fence a “farce”.
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