Austria’s Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner (pictured above) has called for “a fortress Europe” to protect the European Union (EU) and its external borders as tens of thousands of migrants flood into Austria from Slovenia. Her call was supported by the minister for foreign affairs and integration, Sebastian Kurz, who said he is not against building border fences.
Mrs. Mikl-Leitner made the comments after a visit to the tiny village of Spielfeld in Styria, where chaos has descended after the arrival of thousands of refugees and migrants, reports Steiermark News. On Thursday night police were forced to remove barricades at a refugee camp in Spielfeld in an effort to relieve pressure, allowing hundreds of people to spill into the surrounding area which is usually home to less than 1,000 local residents.
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Slovenia says over 12,600 migrants have entered its territory over the past 24 hours. They want to travel onwards to Austria and then Germany and this has caused mayhem on nearby frontier crossings.
As Breitbart London has reported, the human tide is so big that Slovenia has asked the EU for police to help regulate the inflow.
Locals in Spielfeld have complained that they will not be able to cope with the expected 60,000 refugees who will arrive over the course of the next few days.
On Thursday evening, around 2,000 refugees were waiting in a transit area at the border crossing. Police chief Josef Klamminger said that shuttle buses will be in continual use, to take the refugees to a registration centre and provide them with emergency supplies and first aid.
Mr. Klamminger told ORF television that the situation in Spielfeld is more extreme than on the Hungarian border crossing a few weeks ago, as “Germany’s restrictions are now affecting Austria and the entire Balkan route, and we are left in a kind of sandwich position.”
Around 900 police officers and soldiers are on duty to try and keep the situation under control.
Meanwhile, Mr. Kurz told Ö1 radio that the EU must cooperate with Turkey “to stem the flow of refugees, because it is becoming too much”. “Europe is responsible for protecting the EU’s external borders,” he added.
He also said he was not against building border fences, which Hungary has done, saying that secure borders are needed and that the one between Turkey and Bulgaria has succeeded in easing the flow of refugees.