Austria to Build Fence on Slovenia Border to Slow Flow of Migrants


Austria on Wednesday said it plans to build a fence at its main crossing with Slovenia, the first such barrier between two members of Europe’s document-free travel area, in one of the clearest signs to date of how Europe’s migrant crisis is undermining Europe’s institutions and sowing discord across the bloc.

News of the plan, aimed to slow the stream of migrants headed toward Germany via Austria, drew sharp criticism from Berlin. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has sought to preserve freedom of travel across the continent, even as she struggles to maintain her own open-door refugee policy in the face of mounting opposition at home and growing impatience in other European countries on the migrants’ route.

“The federal government and the chancellor repeatedly have stressed that we believe that the refugee crisis can’t be solved with the building of fences,” Ms. Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said Wednesday.