Europe

Italy, Austria seek to avoid Brenner Pass closure

  • Austrian Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka, left, and Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano sit before their meeting in Rome, Thursday, April 28, 2016. Italy is watching warily as Austria moves to tighten controls along its borders as it fears the closure of the Balkans route being used by migrants, including refugees of Syria’s war, to reach Europe will create new flows through Italy. It has begun to build a fence on its southern border, and on Wednesday announced multiple highway check points. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

    Austrian Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka, left, and Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano sit before their meeting in Rome, Thursday, April 28, 2016. Italy is watching warily as Austria moves to tighten controls along its borders as it fears the closure of the Balkans route being used by migrants, including refugees of Syria’s war, to reach Europe will create new flows through Italy. It has begun to build a fence on its southern border, and on Wednesday announced multiple highway check points. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)  (The Associated Press)

  • Austrian Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka, left, and Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano sit before their meeting in Rome, Thursday, April 28, 2016. Italy is watching warily as Austria moves to tighten controls along its borders as it fears the closure of the Balkans route being used by migrants, including refugees of Syria’s war, to reach Europe will create new flows through Italy. It has begun to build a fence on its southern border, and on Wednesday announced multiple highway check points. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

    Austrian Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka, left, and Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano sit before their meeting in Rome, Thursday, April 28, 2016. Italy is watching warily as Austria moves to tighten controls along its borders as it fears the closure of the Balkans route being used by migrants, including refugees of Syria’s war, to reach Europe will create new flows through Italy. It has begun to build a fence on its southern border, and on Wednesday announced multiple highway check points. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)  (The Associated Press)

Italy's interior ministry says that Italy and Austria have reached terms to avoid closure of the heavily trafficked Brenner Pass border crossing that is an important conduit for tourists and goods transiting Europe.

Angelino Alfano said in Rome Thursday that he was assured by his visiting Austrian counterpart that "no wall will be constructed" at the Alpine border despite Austria's concerns of an influx of migrants through Italy now that the Balkans route has been closed. Alfano said blocking the pass would bring "enormous damage to tourism in Italy and in Austria, and to imports and exports."

Alfano said Italy refused Austria's request to deploy Austrian police on Italian trains heading northward, but said that Italy would reinforce its police patrols of the roads leading up to the Brenner Pass.