Destinations Magazine

Opening Back up

By Stizzard
Opening back up

THE Brenner Pass between Italy and Austria is an Alpine fantasy landscape of sheepfolds and snowy peaks, traversed by a highway crowded with holidaymakers and truckers. On April 12th a European Union spokeswoman declared the pass to be “essential for the freedom of movement within the European Union”. Her words were not celebratory, but foreboding. Earlier, Austrian police had disclosed that construction workers had begun pouring concrete for a registration hall and a 250-metre-wide barrier that would allow the pass to be closed.

This was not just the latest reaction to the more than 1m asylum-seekers who have entered Europe through Greece since last year. Rather, it was in anticipation of a new wave that may be coming. Up to 300,000 migrants could arrive in Italy this year, Austria’s former interior minister, Johanna Mikl-Leitner, said before meeting her Italian counterpart on April 8th. And no one should assume that the pass will stay open if the migrants turn up.

Ms Mikl-Leitner, a member of the centre-right Austrian People’s Party, is a hardliner on immigration. And she is no longer interior minister; she resigned last week…

The Economist: Europe

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