Austria announced it is to send four hundred additional military personnel to its land borders due to the increasing number of "illegal migrants" trying to enter the country. "We see that the number of people stopped at the Austrian border is increasing again", said the Federal Minister of the Interior, Karl Nehammer, on Saturday (24 July) at a press conference announcing the measure.
According to Nehammer, 15,768 people trying to enter Austria illegally have already been arrested this year. In 2020, the figure was 21,700. Two hundred people smugglers have also been arrested this year.
Most migrants come from Afghanistan. Nehammer said the escape route from Afghanistan "passes through ten safe countries" and that his country hosts one of the largest Afghan communities in Europe. "It cannot be that Austria and Germany solve the Afghanistan problem for the EU," said the minister.
The land border of Austria-Hungary is popular among migrants. For this reason, most additional military personnel will be deployed here, but the surveillance at the borders of Slovakia and the Czech Republic will also be strengthened.
There are currently 1,000 soldiers on security police duty at the border, 520 are on Corona pandemic duty, 134 are currently on disaster relief duty at home - there are 850 soldiers abroad.