Travelers in Europe may soon have a new challenge. Entering Europe in one country and freely move into other EU countries may be history soon. This would be a big setback not only for tourism, but for the values of a united Europe.
The Schengen agreement on open borders is “temporarily cancelled” in Austria. These are the words of Werner Faymann the Austrian Chancellor today.
Earlier on Friday, the policy of free movement within the European Union was questioned by Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schauble.
Europe’s open borders might be “close” to an end, the minister said after a meeting of the EU’s finance ministers in Brussels. The Schengen system could soon collapse, with more of the bloc’s 28 member states introducing internal border checks, the German official told reporters.
Faymann said that with the new measures introduced at Austria’s borders, the existence of “the whole EU is in question.”
“All refugees must be controlled, economic migrants must be sent to the countries of their origin,” Faymann said in an interview with Austria’s Oesterreich newspaper, to be published on Sunday.
The government is implementing a strict monitoring system for asylum seekers, the chancellor said, adding that, just like in neighboring Germany, its border controls are being tightened, and repatriations of refugees are carried out.
If the EU does not manage to secure the external borders, Schengen as a whole is put into question…Then each country must control its national borders,” Faymann told the newspaper, adding that if the bloc’s external borders are not secured in the near future, “the whole EU [will be] in question.”
The new regulations issued by the Austrian Defense Ministry came into effect on Saturday, with the army being deployed at the borders to stop refugees who intend to simply transit through the country and not apply for asylum there.
Over 3,000 migrants that arrived under false identities have already been sent back since the beginning of the year, border officials reported.
Source: eTN Global Travel Industry News