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Slovenia is considering introducing border controls with Austria

Slovenia is considering introducing border controls with Austria

Slovenia threatens Austria with retaliatory measures in the border control dispute. “Currently all options are being considered in Ljubljana, including border controls with Austria,” Ambassador Aleksander Jerzyna of the Tyrol Tageszeitung (Thursday edition) said. The top diplomat complained that Austrian border controls had been extended “for the seventeenth time”. Slovenia no longer accepts this.

Just on Monday, Slovenian President Natasha Burke-Mosar, during her maiden visit to Vienna, pushed for the dispute to be resolved before summer and expressed concerns about traffic jams during the holidays. Federal President Alexander van der Bellen also expressed hope that border controls would end soon. Concretely, the previous “border point controls” could be replaced by “border area controls”, as practiced by Austria with respect to Italy or Slovakia.

Gerzyna criticized that the Austrian approach towards his country “contradicts the basic treaties and fundamental freedoms of the European Union.” The European Court of Justice has already recognized them as “illegitimate”. Nor do immigration figures justify the controls.

Austria considers the controls necessary

In the whole of last year, about 60 migrants were turned back at the Slovenian-Austrian border, and only 13 in the last four months. “On the border with Italy, where a state of emergency has been declared and the numbers are many times higher, Austria has not imposed any controls,” the ambassador said.

The Austrian government was not impressed by the vehement appeals of the southern neighboring country. On Tuesday, Interior Minister Gerhard Karner (ÖVP) spoke of “increasing pressure on this side” with regard to Slovenia.

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Therefore, “I consider it necessary to continue to maintain controls.” Foreign Minister Aleksander Schallenberg (ÖVP) spoke negatively the same day after meeting fellow Slovenian Tanja Vagon in Rijeka, Croatia. Without going into detail about Slovenia, he lamented the “dysfunctionality” of the Schengen area and the fact that Germany also controls the border with Austria.