Italy, Austria seek to avoid Brenner Pass closure

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.