Austrian APC on patrol in Kosovo, Sept 2012 file pic

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AFP

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Armoured automobiles like this might quickly impose border controls on the Brenner Cross

Austria is able to deploy troops and armour on the Brenner Cross – a border crossing with Italy – if the inflow of migrants to Italy continues to develop.

Defence Minister Hans Peter Doskozil introduced the measures in an interview with Austria’s Kronen Zeitung every day.

He stated 4 Pandur armoured personnel carriers had been despatched to the Tyrol area and 750 troops had been on standby.

Austria has checks in place alongside its border with Hungary. However elsewhere it adheres to the EU open borders system.

Mr Doskozil stated a navy deployment on the Brenner Cross could be “indispensable if the inflow into Italy [across the Mediterranean] doesn’t diminish”.

Folks-smuggling gangs have been exploiting the violence and chaos in Libya. The shortest crossing from Libya to Italy is barely about 460km (290 miles).

Italy has warned that the present scale of migrant arrivals is unsustainable and that it might even shut its ports and impound help companies’ rescue ships.

The EU’s Schengen system – free motion throughout most European borders – was overwhelmed by an inflow of migrants and refugees in 2015.

They reached Central Europe by way of the Balkans – and most sought asylum in Germany. Since then, tighter border controls within the Balkans have lowered the numbers heading north from Greece.

A lot of the inflow to Austria was by way of Hungary. A lot of those that got here by prepare or on foot had been refugees from Syria, Iraq and different battle zones.

The Brenner Cross is now seen as a possible migration hotspot, because the inflow to Italy to date this 12 months is greater than final 12 months.

Practically 85,000 migrants and refugees arrived in Italy within the first half of this 12 months, throughout the Mediterranean. The UN refugee company UNHCR says that’s about 20% greater than within the first half of 2016. Greater than 2,000 died making an attempt to succeed in Italy.

A observe on terminology: The BBC makes use of the time period migrant to discuss with all folks on the transfer who’ve but to finish the authorized strategy of claiming asylum. This group consists of folks fleeing war-torn international locations similar to Syria, who’re more likely to be granted refugee standing, in addition to people who find themselves looking for jobs and higher lives, who governments are more likely to rule are financial migrants.