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Italian Minister Slams Austria's Plan for Anti-Migrant Fence as 'Senseless'

© AFP 2021 / Joe KalmarIn this file photo workers take measurements of a near finished section of a 3,7 km long fence at a border crossing between Austria and Slovenia at Spielfeld, Austria on December 9, 2015.
In this file photo workers take measurements of a near finished section of a 3,7 km long fence at a border crossing between Austria and Slovenia at Spielfeld, Austria on December 9, 2015. - Sputnik International
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Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano said on Thursday that Austria should think over its "illogical" and "senseless" plans to build a fence on the border with Italy to control the migrant crisis.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, Austrian media reported, citing federal state police, that Austria was planning to construct a fence of up to 400 meters (some 1,300 feet) in height at the Brenner Pass in the Alps, on its border with Italy, as the country was seeking to prevent the arrival of undocumented migrants.

"This is not only against the EU rules on free movement but it is against logic and common sense <…> Our job is to convince our Austrian partners of the senselessness of their behavior," Alfano told Canale 5 television channel.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi immediately condemned the move, deeming it a "blatant violation" of European law.

Stranded refugees and migrants try to bring down part of the border fence during a protest at the Greek-Macedonian border, near the Greek village of Idomeni, February 29, 2016 - Sputnik International
Migrants Break Through Fence on Greece’s Border With Macedonia - Reports
Moreover, the Austrian Parliament passed, on Wednesday, an amendment package to the country's asylum legislation, allowing for the introduction of a state of emergency should there be an extraordinary influx of refugees, as well as allowing for asylum applications to be rejected at the border.

Earlier in April, the European Commission sent a letter to Vienna demanding an explanation for the construction of a new border-control post at the Brenner Pass. The Commission said it was "very concerned" about the move, as it could represent a violation of the Schengen Agreement.

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