Putin visit to Slovenia snarls holiday traffic at Austria border

Traffic came to a standstill at a key Alpine pass for hours Saturday in Austria as hundreds of holidaymakers attempted to get through a tunnel before it was blocked as a security measure for a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to neighbouring Slovenia.

Authorities in Austria reported a 7-kilometre long traffic backup in front of the Karawanks Tunnel, a key connection under the Alps between Austria and Slovenia. Many Western Europeans use the tunnel as a gateway on their way to Slovenia, Italy and Austria.

The tunnel had been scheduled to be closed from 11 am to 6 pm (0900 to 1600 GMT) due to Putin's visit to Slovenia, but the tourism crush meant it, effectively, was closed much earlier. The tunnel did reopen Saturday evening.

Last update: Sun, 31/07/2016 - 10:33

More from Europe

Iceland president asks Pirate Party to attempt to form government

Iceland's president on Friday gave the leader of the anti-establishment Pirate Party the task of forming the next...

Italy referendum campaign ends amid claims of postal vote fraud

Italy's political leaders entered their final hours of campaigning on Friday in a constitutional referendum whose...

Gate stolen from former Nazi concentration camp "found" in Norway

German police are investigating whether a gate bearing the sign "Arbeit macht frei" (work sets you free) that was...

Slovenian police catch 30 illegal migrants

Slovenian police caught 30 illegal migrants from Afghanistan and Pakistan, including six minors and a child, near...

European democracy damaged by migration crisis, says Hungary's Orban

European democracy is "tattered" because leading politicians failed to understand how their own people wanted the...