Austria suspends Schengen agreement, steps up border control, tells EU to sort out migrant crisis
Vienna is radically changing its policy towards migrants and refugees, Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann told local media. Faymann said that with the new measures introduced at Austria’s borders, the existence of “the whole EU is in question.”
“All refugees must be controlled, economic migrants must be sent to the countries of their origin,” Faymann said in an interview with Austria’s Oesterreich newspaper, to be published on Sunday.
The government is implementing a strict monitoring system for asylum seekers, the chancellor said, adding that, just like in neighboring Germany, its border controls are being tightened, and repatriations of refugees are carried out.
“Anyone who arrives at our border is subject to control,” Faymann said. A valid identity card will now have to be provided to authorities, and those who do not have a right to asylum or have been already rejected by Germany will be denied entry, as will those who don’t intend to apply for refugee status in Austria.
Consequently, the Schengen agreement on open borders is “temporarily cancelled” in Austria, the chancellor said.
“If the EU does not manage to secure the external borders, Schengen as a whole is put into question…Then each country must control its national borders,” Faymann told the newspaper, adding that if the bloc’s external borders are not secured in the near future, “the whole EU [will be] in question.”
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