EU nations to keep Balkan migrant route shut

8 February 2017
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Interior and defense ministers from 13 European countries have agreed to come up with new measures to ensure that the overland route from Greece remains shut for migrants seeking new lives in other EU nations.

Austrian Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka and Defense Minister Hans Peter Doskozil say the officials decided to draw up a plan by April for the so-called West Balkans route.

Wednesday’s meeting included counterparts from the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo and Greece.

Some of the countries became arrival or transit points for the influx of hundreds of thousands of migrants who started flooding Europe in 2015. Others oppose resettling migrants already in the EU on their territories.

Austria was instrumental in coordinating last year’s shutdown of the route.

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