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Austria to bar migrants after Merkel gives ground

2018-07-04 09:48:37       source:The Times

July 4, 2018

Austria prepared to tighten its borders yesterday as a migrant deal reached by Angela Merkel to save her government sent shockwaves through Europe.

Sebastian Kurz, Austria’s right-wing prime minister, said he was introducing measures to “protect” its southern borders, with new controls on arrivals from Italy and Slovenia; a move that could undermine freedom of movement principles in the Schengen zone.

He called for swift clarification from Berlin of details of a deal thrashed out by Mrs Merkel and her conservative allies to curb immigration. The agreement appears to include refusing entry to migrants reaching Germany through Austria, potentially stranding them there. “If this agreement becomes the German government position we will be required to take action to avert negative consequences for Austria and its population,” Mr Kurz said in a joint statement with far-right members of his cabinet.

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