The Austrian government has caused a political row with Italy as they mobilize their military to enforce border controls. The Austrian ambassador was called to explain the actions of his country to the Italian government, and the Austrian Defense Minister, Hans Peter Doskozil, stated categorically that the military deployment was of a defensive nature.

2017 has seen a large influx of refugees to Italy, and Austria has no interest in welcoming illegal immigrants into Austrian territory. The deployment consists of a number of armored vehicles that could serve as roadblocks, and as many as 250 active army troops.

More than 80,000 immigrants have arrived so far this year in Italy, and Austria is concerned that Italy may not be able to keep them all within their territory.

This sort of action isn't new for Austria, and in the summer of 2015 they took similar measures along their border with Slovenia.

A growing concern

The theme of illegal migration to Europe isn't new, and it has been putting pressure on governments across the continent for many years. So far this year there have been as many as 100,000 illegal immigrants reported to have landed in Europe, with the vast majority currently in Italy.

This number may be low, as many people who enter European territory illegally aren't counted. While the Italian federal government has raised alarm in regards to the sustainability of the situation they find themselves in, the governor of South Tyrol, Arno Kompatscher, pointed out that this wasn't the first time Austria has employed border controls like this.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has sided with the Italian government, and stated plainly that more has to be done to stem the tide of asylum seekers.

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