Austria ‘to protect southern borders’

Vienna is prepared to take measures to protect its southern borders if an immigration deal within Germany’s coalition goes into effect, the Austrian government said on Tuesday. Austria was responding to a deal reached late on Monday between German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) and her partners in Bavaria’s Christian Social Union (CSU), settling a row over immigration that had threatened to topple the German government. Under the deal, migrants who have already applied for asylum in other EU countries will be held in transit centers on the border while Germany negotiates bilateral deals for their return. “Should this agreement become the German government’s position, we see that as prompting us to take action to prevent negative consequences for Austria and its population,” Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said in a joint statement with two far-right members of his cabinet.

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