Balkan route for migrants, in order to get to the rich countries on the north, will be permanently closed, said Austrian Minister of Interior Johanna Mikl-Leitner for the German newspaper “Die Welt” on Thursday.
On Wednesday, Macedonia closed its border with Greece for illegal immigrants after Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia, which are on the way to Austria, announced new restrictions on the entry of migrants.
“My position is clear: the Balkan Route will remain permanently closed,” said Mikl-Leitner.
She said that only that kind of “consistent signal” will discourage migrants, with many of them escaping from the war and conflicts in the Middle East and beyond by crossing the Mediterranean from Turkey to European shores.
As the result of closing the route, thousands of migrants accumulated on the Greek side of the border with Macedonia and another 1,000 accumulated in a refugee camp on the Macedonian side of the border with Serbia.
“This alliance of reason made a decisive contribution for maintaining stability and order for the people in Europe,” said Mikl-Leitner, in allusion to the Balkan countries along the route.
In late February, Austria caused the so called, “domino effect” by introducing daily limit on the number of migrants that are passing through the country.
Last year, more than 1.5 million migrants arrived in Europe, causing fierce political debates all across the continent on the resolution of the crisis, as reported by Reuters.