Heinz-Christian Strache today cautioned frazzled Angela Merkel, who is desperately battling to maintain her trademark open-border policy despite Horst Seehofer threatening to pull out of their coalition partnership should she keep Germany’s floodgates open.
Should the German Chancellor refuse, her entire government would collapse and the country could experience a surge in immigration similar to the 2015 epidemic, which saw Germany welcome in more than a million migrants from Africa and the Middle East.
Mr Strache said: “It can’t come to a renewed wave like the one seen in 2015 again.”
He then vowed that like Italy and Hungary, Austria will do everything in its power to deter immigration into the country.
He said: “That’s the logical consequence, and we are prepared for it and will similarly protect our borders.
“Italy will not wave them though.”
Ms Merkel has been backed into a corner by her coalition counterpart who demanded Germany’s spike in immigration be curbed by sending asylum seekers back to the EU member state they initially registered in as part of a crackdown on migration.
An emergency meeting has been called by EU leaders between Ms Merkel and Mr Seehofer in the hope the warring politicians can strike a deal.
However, several countries have threatened to boycott the meeting in Brussels making a breakthrough unlikely and subsequently leaving Ms Merkel’s leadership in limbo.
Italy has objected to Germany closing its borders, with the country’s far-right Lega leader Matteo Salvini reminding the bloc they took in more than their fair share of migrants during the spike three years ago by turning away a German ship of 350 migrants rescued from Libya.
Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban has also blasted the EU’s failure to control immigration by taking drastic measures of his own.
The anti-Brussels leader shut down the Central European University in Budapest in a bid to stop hundreds of student migrants flocking to Hungary to study.
Eurosceptic Mr Orban has also announced he and three other Central European states will not attend the crucial EU migration summit tomorrow, adding Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia had joined forces to block a deal for Germany.
Ms Merkel has been given a two-week deadline to make an agreement with Mr Seehofer.