Othmar Commenda, Austria’s most senior soldier, has suggested that the Mediterranean route used by migrants could be secured by the military.
General Commenda told the Kronen newspaper: “Within the EU, most members already have the necessary strategic means to control the migration routes by sea – and to limit illegal migration.
“From a military point of view, almost all of these refugee boats heading for Europe can be intercepted,” he added.
Commenda goes on to explain that the EU could follow Australia’s lead and stop boats crossing the Med, returning migrants to safe zones in Africa.
He says the idea of protected zones is “proven” and “is already being applied in Syria.”
Former Australian Prime Minister who first introduced the policy, Tony Abbott, says stopping boats is a proven method of discouraging others from making the journey and instead seek refuge in designated safe zones.
Commenda told German media that the EU has the means to implement such a policy and that “the return of the largely male economic refugees in the protection zones on the North African coast is not a military but a political problem”.
Merkel’s decision to invite anyone who could make it, to come to Europe has not only risked thousands of lives, it has also burdened Europe financially and culturally when resources could have been devoted to making areas around Africa and the Middle East safe for those fleeing.