European Union border guards should be stationed in North Africa to prevent nonwhites from even crossing the Mediterranean Sea in the first place, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has demanded.
Speaking in an interview with the German Welt am Sonntag newspaper, Kurz—who is in a formal alliance with the anti-invasion Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ)—said the EU’s Frontex border control agents should be allowed to operate in northern Africa in order to “prevent further migration to Europe.”
Kurz said Frontex needs “a clear political mandate” with the governments of northern African countries that would allow EU border guards to operate there.
He added that the mandate should give agents the ability to “end the dirty business model of human traffickers and to prevent smuggler boats from even setting out on the dangerous journey over the Mediterranean.”
Frontex employees should also “stop illegal migrants on the external borders, tend to them, and then ideally send them immediately back to their home country or transit country, the conservative Austrian leader said.
He supports the European Commission’s plan to boost the number of Frontex border guards by 10,000 by the year 2027. He took issue however with the timeline, saying the personnel boost “has to happen much faster.”
Kurz also told the paper that he doesn’t think EU-wide quotas to more evenly distribute the fake “refugees” around the 28-member bloc are realistic.
Normally, these comments would merely be more noise in the wasteland of European political discourse, but this time they may very significant: in July, Austria takes over the formal presidency of the EU, and as such, can greatly influence the policy direction of that body.