Austrian police perform border closure exercise | Photo: Picture Alliance / AP Photo / R. Zak
Austrian police perform border closure exercise | Photo: Picture Alliance / AP Photo / R. Zak

The Austrian government announced that it would be maintaining the border controls it has on the frontier with neighboring countries Slovenia and Hungary at least until November 2019.

Austria’s Interior Minister Herbert Kickl from the right-wing populist FPÖ party told the EU Commission on Sunday of his plans to maintain the country’s borders until November. The Austrian news agency APA reported the news and quoted the minister who cited the continued flow of migrants trying to enter Austria illegally as well as a “latent terrorist threat” as reasons for his decision. The border controls were due to be relaxed on May 11.

German decision to follow

Germany’s own border controls with Austria are due to end one day later on May 12. According to the German press agency, DPA, the German Interior Minister is currently assessing whether controls along that border will also need to be extended past that date. EU rules demand that countries inform them at least four weeks ahead of a change or extension to their controls, which means Germany’s announcement is expected soon.

In theory, within the Schengen zone there should be no border controls at all but since 2015 several countries installed extra checks in order to control the numbers of people trying to make their way to countries like Germany via the so-called Balkan route.


 

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