“Austria held a large-scale border patrol exercise on Tuesday, in a symbolic show of defiance against German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open door refugee policy.
On the Austrian border with Slovenia, 200 soldiers and 500 policemen practiced stopping refugees, in an hour and a half long exercise that saw police trainees pretending to cross the border and being turned back.
‘A state that cannot protect its borders effectively in the event of a fall loses its credibility,’ Herbert Kickl, Austria’s interior minister and a member of the far-right Freedom party (FPÖ), told reporters.
The training took place in Spielfeld, where thousands of refugees crossed the border in 2015 after Mrs Merkel introduced her controversial ‘open door’ refugee policy.
The move led to Austria taking in one of the biggest shares of asylum seekers in Europe.
Describing the training exercise as a ‘major police and army’ event, Heinz-Christian Strache, Austria’s Vice-Chancellor and an FPÖ politician, said it would send a “clear signal” that Austria wants to protect its borders.” (Telegraph)