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Iohannis after the Austrian veto threat: There is no uncontrolled influx of defectors in Romania



The arrival of 100,000 refugees was confirmed in Austria this year

On his first official visit to Croatia, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer announced Vienna’s support for Croatia’s entry into the Schengen area and criticism of Bulgaria and Romania. The Romanian interior minister will travel to Vienna.

Austria will vote specifically for Croatia and specifically for Bulgaria and Romania in the Schengen enlargement vote, Nehammer said.

“When we talk about Schengen expansion and criticize the European Commission’s plan, it should be emphasized that this does not apply to Croatia. We will vote specifically for Croatia and especially for Bulgaria and Romania,” is after a meeting with the Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković Nehammer stated.

“We will support Croatia in Schengen, but we will be very critical of Romania and Bulgaria in this regard,” he added.

He congratulated Croatia on its entry into the euro area and drew attention to one of the biggest challenges facing Austria, i.e. illegal migration. According to him, defectors create “enormous pressure”although Austria is a country that does not have an external EU border.

“We are currently discussing the expansion of Schengen, but at the same time we see that Austria in particular has problems with insufficient protection of the external borders. At the same time, we have less border protection within the EU and in our opinion it cannot continue like this. Some measures will have to be taken,” emphasized the Austrian chancellor.

Plenković said that Croatia will appreciate Austria’s support in entering the Schengen area, and emphasized that he is aware of Austria’s concern about defectors.

“What is good and what we confirmed together is that these people who came to Austria do not come through Croatia, but from the territories of other countries,” emphasized the Croatian Prime Minister. At the same time, he expressed his satisfaction with today’s meeting and with “the chancellor’s support for Croatia to accede to Schengen, and when that happens, strengthen the border protection policy”.

Vienna’s veto for Sofia and Bucharest?

Already on Tuesday, Nehammer assured that his country will not veto Croatia’s entry into the Schengen area, as Croatia fulfills the requirements regarding border protection in an exemplary manner. According to the Austrian newspaper Kleine Zeitung, this means that Vienna’s veto threat is aimed at Bulgaria and Romania.

Speculation about whether Austria will vote against Croatia’s entry into Schengen began last Friday when Austria’s interior minister Gerhard Karner expressed doubts about the meaning of the Schengen area expansion and reiterated his position on Monday. As a reason, he cited the situation at the border, which shows that Schengen does not work in principle. As he explained to the Austrian media, the arrival of 100,000 refugees was confirmed in Austria this year, of which 75,000 were not registered in a single EU country.

Iohannis: There is no uncontrolled influx of defectors in Romania

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has already responded to Austrian veto threats. In Romania “there is no uncontrolled influx of migrants and there never has been”, Iohannis said on the sidelines of his visit to Latvia, the Austrian news agency APA reports.

Iohannis emphasized that they are well informed in Bucharest that “where do migrants come from and by what routes”. They will be happy to forward their data and findings to the Austrian authorities, he said in Riga.

Romania was never the central part “balkan routes”which defectors use to travel to Central and Western Europe, but his country has “both the potential and the ability to support Austria to stem the flow of migrants”the Romanian president asserted.

Iohannis confirmed that he will be the Romanian interior minister Lucian Bode immediately traveled to Vienna to be to “Austrian friends” available for further questions and to address their concerns. Bucharest is ready to present arguments that the Schengen area will actually become a Schengen area with the admission of Romania “safer”, said the President of Romania.

Regarding the veto threats, Iohannis did not rule out the possibility of postponing Romania’s entry into Schengen again. If the outcome of the vote regarding Romania is not certain, it would be better to postpone the vote for a month or two, he thought.

The vote on the entry of Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania into the Schengen area is expected to take place on December 8 at the meeting of the EU’s interior ministers. If the EU Council supports the entry, the three countries will join Schengen on January 1, 2023.

Source: Rtvslo

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