Border control authorities in Kärnten, Austria, discovered a group of individuals who had breached the country's borders illegally. The incident occurred on Wednesday afternoon at the Karawanken Tunnel border crossing when a Croatian-registered coach was intercepted. The vehicle was found to be transporting 16 individuals, comprised of seven men, four women, and five children, all of Syrian nationality, none of whom carried the necessary documentation for legal residence in Austria.
Apprehensions at the Border
The group was detained and applied for international protection in Austria. They were subsequently dispatched to the Klagenfurt Foreign Police Department. The coach driver, a 48-year-old Bosnian national, was reported on suspicion of human smuggling.
Continual Border Breaches
This event echoes a similar occurrence earlier on the same day. In the early hours of Wednesday, 32 Syrian nationals were detected illegally crossing the border between Kärnten and Slovenia. These individuals were also transported to the Klagenfurt Foreign Police Department.
Illegal Migration and Schengen Area Implications
These incidents occurred amidst Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen's criticism of the government's decision to block Romania and Bulgaria from joining the Schengen Area due to concerns about illegal migration. Despite the European Commission's determination that all three countries meet the technical criteria for joining, and the European Parliament voting in favor of their membership, the Austrian government's stance remains firm.
In contrast, Germany experienced a significant decrease in unauthorized entries in November, with a total of 4,353 unauthorized foreigners apprehended at land borders. This decline was particularly notable at borders with Poland, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, and Austria. However, the police union believes that the border controls ordered by Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser contributed minimally to this decrease.