Austria is prepared to militarily secure its southern border if Italy follows through on a ‘nuclear option’ to grant 200,000 temporary visas to migrants currently being held in the Mediterranean nation, enabling them to legally move deeper into the besieged continent.
“Italy granting humanitarian visas to migrants is unacceptable,” said Austrian Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka during a visit to the border. “In that case, we would immediately introduce controls in Brenner.”
“Humanitarian visas are a European issue, not Italian.”
Italy has threatened to unleash thousands of migrants who have landed on its shores into the rest of Europe if other nations do not begin accepting their ‘fair share’ of the catastrophic burden.
“In what has been described as a ‘nuclear option,’ Italian government officials have threatened to allow 200,000 migrants who enter the country to travel across Europe by using a Brussels directive,” reports the Daily Mail. “If Italy does pursue this course of action, support for the Schengen scheme, which allows all EU citizens to travel freely across the Continent, may be in jeopardy.”
The Austrian government has already moved 750 troops and four Pandur armored vehicles into the Tyrol region, where they can quickly deploy to the Brenner Pass, the primary connector between Austria and Italy through the Alps, if necessary.
“We need to prepare for the migration development in Italy, and I expect very promptly that border controls will be activated and assistance requested,” said Austrian Defense Minister Hans Peter Doskozil in comments to local press earlier this month. ”
His spokesman said the flood of migrants into Italy is unsustainable, and that riot tanks would have to be deployed.
“These are not battle tanks,” he said. “These are armoured vehicles without weapons which could block roads. These were already used during the refugee crisis of 2015/16 at the Spielfeld border crossing (with Slovenia).”
Austria’s military response comes on the heels of a recent meeting between six central European nations seeking to form a new anti-migrant defense coalition, as Infowars reported last month.
“Defense ministers and officials from Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Croatia met in Prague to discuss the details of the Central European Defence Cooperation (CEDC) that will act as ‘the framework of civil-military cooperation’ between the nations who seek to handle the on-going crisis in a markedly different manner than Brussels and other EU member states, such as Germany, Sweden and Italy.”
The UN International Organization for Migration has announced that over 100,000 migrants have entered Europe in the first six months of 2017 via the Mediterranean, with nearly 85% arriving in Italy from Libya alone.