Austria is planning to apply boarder control of 1 June 2016 at the Italian boarder.
The alpine country is reacting very consequently to the expectations of more hundred thousands of refugees who will take the boat trip to Italy and then through Austria. According to the Austrian Minister of Defense this is the reason why Austria is bulding the boarder control point at the Brenner pass to Italy. The construction works have already begun on a parking arean next to the motorway by Brenner. Furthermore, a traffic island is also being recontructed as a part of the boarder control point. The plan is that all construction work should be done latestly in the end of May.
The Austrian decision does not please the Italien government. They are appealing the Austrian government to rethink the step og is has also been brought to the attention of the EU commission. The Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs as well as the Home Secretary are asking the EU to look into whether the Austrian actions are violating the Schengen Convention. The Italians point out that such a step is only allowed when a country’s safety and law and order are endangered.
The Austrian Home Secretary do not understand the Italian governments reaction. She says that Austria has only begun with actions which have already been discussed last week in Rome. The Italian government is calling the starting contruction works of a boarder point a ”serious mistake” and a violation on the European conventions. They are convinced that the whole project will be cancelled. The real fear Italy senses, is the fear of Austria closing the boarders completely. The two countries have made an agreement which only allows this in case of emergency, where refugees seek to enter Austria in uncontrolled numbers.
Until the EU has looked into the case, Austria will continue with the construction works which at latest will be done 1 June. The road goods transport sector will probably suffer the consequenses in form of traffic jams before the boarders, in spite of Austria’s promises that they will do everything in their power to prevent interference in the international road traffic.
As of 1 June the best advice is a great amount of patience which will be required for the road transport business and the lorry drivers, when they drive HGVs with or without goods from Italy to/through Austria.
Update: 18 May 2016: According to the German Press Agency, the new Austrian Home Secretary, Wolfgang Sobotka, has announced that the boarder control has been cancelled. The number of refugees coming through the alp pass has noticeably decreased due to the Italian control.
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