Austria has sent 50 extra police officers at the Brenner crossing to enforce the border controls at the area which links Austria with Italy.
The news were reported by the Italian news agency, ANSA, which said that the deployment of the police officers took place on Tuesday and they instantly started the controls at all the border passages.
According to the local Italian police, the Austrian police officials started controlling the traffic watching out for migrants and refugees trying to enter the Northern EU state. Overall, some 80 Austrian police officers are conducting controls on the motorway, on the State highway and on trains.
A police chief in Tirol told ANSA that the move “is not about checkpoints or border controls” but is intended to “contain the number of people who enter Austria illegally.”
Austrian authorities worry that after the closure of the Balkan Route, which was promoted by the Austrian government too, Italy will become the main entry point for the people in need.
However, last week the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) reported that so far it has no evidence that Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis “are responding to the closure of the Balkan route by returning to the Central Mediterranean route and trying to reach Italy via Egypt or Libya.”
Moreover, compared with the first five months of 2015, the migrant flows in Italy have remained more or less stable and the top nationalities arriving in the EU country remain the same – mostly Sub-Saharan Africans.
Despite the not increased refugee influx in Italy, Austria has said that it wants to raise a fence at the Brenner passing to prevent migrants from entering the country. Italy has already deployed 110 extra police officers to also patrol the Brenner pass crossing point.