Austrian minister: Influx of migrants to be slowed down gradually

The influx of migrants across Balkan countries on route to Germany will be gradually slowed down as part of a coordinated domino effect with restrictions being introduced along the entire migrant route, Austria's Minister of the Interior Johanna Mikl-Leitner said on Tuesday who is expected to announce new measures at the country's border later in the day, the Austrian Kurier daily has reported.

"The domino effect along the Balkan route is developing according to plan," Mikl-Leitner was quoted by the Reuters news agency as saying.

"It is important that each country progressively restrict the flow on its border, and that we do that in agreement with each other," she said, adding: "The brakes are being applied step by step."

Austria has on the most part acted as a corridor for hundreds of thousands of people toward neighbouring Germany. These are mostly Syrian refugees who have arrived since the two countries opened their borders last September.

Austria has accepted a similar number of asylum seekers as Germany proportional to its population. The coalition government has said however that it will not be in a position to cater for such a large number of migrants if their influx is not stopped.

Macedonia has erected a metal fence along its border and at major border crossing points for migrants.

Austria has raised barriers and a four-kilometre fence at its main border crossing for migrants at Spielfeld/Sentilj on the border with Slovenia.

Last update: Tue, 16/02/2016 - 11:27

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