Bozen, 13 July 2017 Press release

Austrian Federal Minister Kurz visits Province Governor Kompatscher

The refugee crisis took centre stage during Federal Minister Sebastian Kurz’s visit to South Tyrol‘s Province Governor Arno Kompatscher on 13 July 2017 in Bolzano.

"I call for the swift closure of the Mediterranean route. Illegal migrants must no longer be transferred by ferry from the islands to the Italian mainland",

Kurz stressed on the sidelines of the meeting and called for the quick implementation of further measures: “The Mediterranean route can only be closed by stopping illegal migrants from journeying onwards to the mainland and by returning them from the islands to their countries of origin. This is an important first step in the closure of the Central Mediterranean Italy route: Only by closing the route can illegal migration to Europe and drownings in the Mediterranean be halted,” the Federal Minister said to representatives of the media. He also emphasised:

"A Europe without internal borders is only possible by having external border protection that works.“

Other important topics discussed during the meeting were the autonomy development of South Tyrol and the deepening of cooperation between South Tyrol and Austria, which will also be boosted in future.

“Austria is South Tyrol’s closest and most reliable partner. Austria holds South Tyrol close to its heart”,

said Federal Minister Kurz in conclusion.

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