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Austria calls for use of military on EU borders to stop migrant flows

Featured Austria calls for use of military on EU borders to stop migrant flows

Mario Kunasek, Austria’s Defence Minister, said soldiers from EU member states would be deployed to support Frontex, the European coast guard.

The suggestion has been met with wariness by Germany and other EU member states, in another example of the bloc’s disagreements on how to handle migration.

Mr Kunasek assured a meeting of European defence ministers in Vienna that military personnel would be under police control, and said there was a “positive discussion” about the idea.

The plans were based on trials conducted at Austria’s border using their own soldiers.

Speaking after the event, Mr Kunasek, 42, said: “We have got to protect our borders effectively.”

Mr Kunasek is a member of the Freedom party, a far-right group which forms part of Austria’s ruling coalition.

Austria held a drill overseen by a far-right minister in June which simulated an influx of hundreds of migrants at its borders.

The drill included Black Hawk helicopters and soldiers.