Austria: The Word Changes, But It is a Wall

Austria has launched the construction of a barrier at the Brenner Pass to stop any and extraordinary flow of migrants from Italy. The European Commission, through the words of its spokesman Natasha Bertaud, expresses concern about the materialization of such a plan, that hinders the principle of free movement, a fundamental principle of the EU, while the Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann, also under the pressure of the upcoming elections, confirms that “the management of the border at the Brenner and new legislation on asylum are not desirable, but are necessary and right”.

“We thought that the end of walls in modern Europe had been forever marked by 1989, when the population of Berlin shook hands again after too many years of division. Now it is Austria, which, while diminishing the drastic nature of its initiative calling it “the management of the border,” has decided to build a new wall, close to Italy, slowing down the unitary process of Europe”. So says Father Gianni Borin, superior of the Scalabrini Missionaries operating in Europe and Africa. “From what you learned in school – continues father Borin – we know that history creates the borders as well as do men of all times, concerned with defining who is on one side and who is on the other side of the borders, as if they were worlds alien one to the other”.

The Scalabrini Missionaries continue, on the one hand, to demand the removal of each wall, each division or discrimination as Pope Francis reiterates constantly, and loudly, and, on the other hand, to repeat what has already been ratified in the first part of the Lampedusa Paper (February 2nd, 2014): “… no distinction can or should be made between people who can move freely and those who cannot, on the basis of their native countries and their social, legal and economic status; those who can move freely and those who are subjected to the needs of the destination country; those who can move freely and those who require permission; those who can move freely and those who, to travel the same path, must suffer discrimination, exploitation, violence – including sexual violence, dehumanization and marketization, limitation of their personal freedom, and the risk of losing their life”.

Because of this also the Scalabrini Missionaries are demanding the EU member states to change the approach shown so far towards the migratory emergency, truly collaborating in unitary form to implement the plan of redistribution of migrants and arriving asylum seekers as soon as possible, to take act ultimately that Europe is called to be increasingly multi-ethnic, multicultural and, therefore, richer.

Missionaries of St. Charles – Scalabriniani (


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