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Austria Italia the hot new frontier of the immigration crisis

Austria Italia the hot new frontier of the immigration crisis

Austria Italia the hot new frontier of the immigration crisis
Austria Italia the hot new frontier of the immigration crisis
A dozen of policemen waiting on the platform of Brennero – on Italian territory, a few meters from the Austrian border and scrutinize travelers coming down from thetrains circulating in direction to Austria. Looking for potential migrants to prevent crossing the Alpine Republic since the Italian Government has promised reinforcements to control the last European frontier where a conflict has been unleashed by the refugee crisis. The Vienna Government announced at the beginning of April “massive” controls in the Valley of the Brennero on the grounds that after the migration agreement with Turkey and the closure of the Balkan route refugees will seek an alternative route by Italy. So far year, about 34,000 have reached Italian coasts, according to UN data.

The Austrian Interior Ministry said that “between 200,000 and one million people they expect Libya to cross the Mediterranean and reach Europe”. To prevent them from entering the country, plans prepared – at the moment, parked – for shielding theBrenner pass, Wired included if it is missing. “With good weather come more and start to come more Syrian, but nobody understood why they want to stand here another wall,” says Emad Mansour, 33 year old Egyptian based from makes 13 in Italy, on a platform of the station. She works for the NGO Volontarius, which offers assistance and a roof for the night to the migrants who come to the small town. The organization does not count how many people try to move to the North, but the City Council of Brennero (2,187 inhabitants in several urban centres, some 250 of them around the station) estimates that were 27,000 last year. Between January and March have been a thousand per month, but since then, the figure has been reduced to a feweveryday people.

On the outside of the station only it looked Wednesday to a dismissal of the policea handful of sub-Saharan and Maghreb. “I tried to get to Germany but now I have returned,” says Bove Nibombewaky, 24, who left Liberia five ago and wanted to leaveItaly because he sleeps “on the street”.


After nearly two months of Strip and loosens diplomat with Italy, who protested in Brussels and has asserted its weight in the EU, Austria has frozen its plans with work already underway. “For the moment”, said the Executive after admitting that the Italian police prevented in the last month that migrants reach Brennero, where have notbeen scenes like the of the border with Hungary or Slovenia, from where last summer and autumn came to Austria thousands of people daily passing to Germany (in 2015, the Alpine country hosted 90,000 refugees and since January they have enteredother 18,500).

The encounter of the two countries has revolutionized the resort, which has been ontelevision enveloped in the smoke from the tear gas thrown by police while on the side of radical groups flying stones in protest against Austria in various manifestations.

Now in the town again breathe, although they do not dare to be definitively closedthe matter. “The situation can be changed, but the Brenner pass is very important for both countries and close it would be a catastrophe,” says the Mayor, Franz Kompatscher. Six million cars and two million trucks annually pass through the highway thatflies over the Valley. Before the possible image of long queues at the border, severalbusiness organizations on both sides have done to sound the alarm and have promised losses of millions of dollars if the Brenner, the main outlet of the Italian goods collapses. Tourism, great capital of the area, they also resent.

For a (majority in the region) Germanspeaking Tyrolean, a fence would also be “a Pang in the heart”, because the border already divided the Tyrol in two after the firstworld war. Italy stayed with the South of the region. “Don’t want back a Europe withwalls,” says Kompatscher, of the Popular Party of Tyrol.


The leader of the FPÖ, Heinz-Christian Strache, ultra-nationalist has taken advantage of the border conflict to pour salt in the wound. It has not lost sight than on the Austrian side of the border, in Griess am Brenner, its candidate for the Presidency, Norbert Hofer, achieved in the first round in April, a 42.5% of the vote, well above the 35% nationally. Amid the controversy, it has proposed a referendum to reunify the Tirol. “A shame”, has replicated it the Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi.

From Brennero neighbors fear over a massive influx of refugees that greater controlof roads and trains, says its mayor. So far no asylumseeker has wanted stay, but only 70 seats for the night that manages Volontarius are available. “It is possible that more refugees arrive and in the end make the controls, but it wouldn’t be good,” saysRosalinde Meier, 51-year-old, who works in a supermarket in Brennero.

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