April 12, 2016 / 9:47 AM / 2 years ago

Austria to tighten checks at Italian border from June 1 at the latest

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austria will introduce tougher border controls at the Brenner crossing with Italy from June 1 at the latest as part of the country’s increasingly tough response to the EU migration crisis, Defence Minister Hans Peter Doskozil said on Tuesday.

A border sign (L) reading 'Republic of Austria - border crossing' is seen in the Italian village of Brenner on the Italian-Austrian border, March 3, 2016. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler

With border restrictions in place along the Balkan route, Vienna expects migrant arrivals to Italy by sea to nearly double this year to 300,000.

Asked whether Austria planned to build a fence at the border, he said the main issue was “to introduce a border management system similar to the one in Spielfeld” at Austria’s border with Slovenia.

A concrete date for introduction of stricter controls at the vital European North-South crossing would depend on the number of migrants and the progress of construction work of a new border control center, Doskozil said.

Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Shadia Nasralla

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