Simon Tomlinson, Daily Mail, February 12, 2016
Austria today demanded Macedonia ‘completely stop’ the flow of migrants across its border from Greece after saying it had nearly reached its ‘maximum’ intake.
Macedonia has erected metal fencing topped with razor wire along the border at the main crossing point from Greece for migrants crossing the Balkan peninsula en route to western Europe.
Austria, which received 90,000 asylum requests last year, has set a limit of less than half that number for this year.
Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz urged Macedonia to halt the influx and warned Vienna would soon have to follow suit and block refugees on its own frontiers.
Speaking on a visit to the Macedonian capital, Skopje, Mr Kurz said: ‘Most probably in the coming months our maximum number will be reached, so Austria will have to stop the migrants at its border.
‘Macedonia must be ready to completely stop the entry of migrants on its borders.
‘We know this will be a hard task and today we agreed that Austria will lend its support, not only in terms of personnel such as police and army but with equipment too.’
His Macedonian counterpart, Nikola Poposki, said Skopje would coordinate all future steps with other countries along the migrant corridor.
It would also ‘reflect the decisions taken in Germany, Austria and other European countries.’
More than a million reached Europe’s shores last year, and over 80,000 in the first six weeks of this year.