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Austria reimposes border checks for Euro 2008

2 June 2008 12:10

VIENNA (AFP) - Austria on Monday reimposed frontier controls as part of a major security operation for the European football championships which start this week.

About 2,000 Austrian police and 143 foreign police were to carry out border checks until July 1, Interior Minister Gunther Platter said.

Austria is part of the Schengen zone in Europe which allows passport free travel between European Union members of the scheme. But the rules allow for restrictions to be reimposed for special events.

"We want checks to be as fluid as possible, while stopping troublemakers," said the minister who added that authorities would also seek to prevent clandestine migrants creeping through.

Austria expects up to one million visitors for the tournament which starts June 7. Euro 2008 is also being held in neighbouring Switzerland and the two countries have never ended passport checks at their frontier as Switzerland is not part of the Schengen group of countries.

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