Austria announced Friday it would erect a metal fence along its border with Slovenia, in a new blow to the’s cherished open-border accord.

The 3.7-kilometre (2.3-mile) barrier, due to be completed in less than six weeks, will be the first fence between two members of the passport-free zone, as Europe grapples with a record influx of migrants.

Barbed wire would be stored in nearby containers ready to be rolled out along the frontier if the situation escalated, officials said.

Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner insisted the “fence conforms to the Schengen accord”, adding it was part of temporary measures aimed at “channelling” the human flow.

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