Europe Migrant Crisis: Germany Places Border Controls, Stems Migrant Influx
Germany has placed into effect temporary border restrictions to the influx of migrants and refugees from Syria and Iraq, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere announced Sunday.
“The focus will initially lie on the border with Austria,” de Maiziere said. “The goal of this measure is to restrict the present inflow of migrants into Germany and return again to an orderly process upon entry.”
Last weekend, Angela Merkel, chancellor, placed a ban on “Dublin” rules – under which the migrants should register themselves with the first member state they arrive in. “It was the right decision to help many refugees in an exceptional humanitarian situation and to prevent the dire situation from escalating further but we need to quickly return to orderly procedures now,” de Maiziere said.
Train schedules headed from and to Austria have been halted for 13 hours, announced by the Austrian Federal Railways. As reported by CNN, the suspension will continue to remain in place from 5 p.m. Sunday until 6 a.m. Monday, the railway agency further said. This announcement of placing border controls came hours after more than 40 migrants were found alive inside a refrigerated truck in northwest Austria.
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In a report published in the German newspaper Bild, the federal police had been sought by the government of the southern German state of Bavaria to assist in keeping a check and reinstating border controls for people entering the country.
Almost 6,000 refugees entered the country since midnight, an Austrian police spokesman said on Sunday. As reported by Deutsche Welle, this number could go beyond 10,000, the most for one day ever since Germany and Austria had opened their borders to allow migrants to come in more than a week ago.
Almost all migrants have sought travelling to the northern European countries, such as Germany and Sweden, and refused to stay in southern nations like Greece. While Germany has unhesitatingly opened its borders to welcome migrants, de Maizière stated that the same cannot be allowed to continue. “We can’t allow refugees to freely choose where they want to stay – that‘s not the case anywhere in the world,” he said. “It also can’t be our duty to pay benefits laid out in German law to refugees who have been allocated to one EU country and then come to Germany anyway.”
German authorities are seeking help from the other European Union partners to design ways to control the swarm of migrants entering the country. Sigmar Gabriel, economy minister and vice-chancellor, said, “It’s true: the European lack of action in the refugee crisis is now pushing even Germany to the limit of its ability.”
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Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commission President, issued proposals to EU countries to accept 120,000 refugees already in Italy, Greece and Hungary. This was in addition to plans designed in May to relocate 40,000 migrants from Italy and Greece. The interior ministers of the EU member states are due to meet on Monday in Brussels, Belgium, to discuss the European Commission’s proposals.
In a statement, the European Commission said, “The German decision of today underlines the urgency to agree on the measures proposed by the European Commission in order to manage the refugee crisis.”
However, the idea of placing into effect compulsory quotas is being resisted by Central European countries. According to Irish Times, Bohuslav Sobotka, Czech prime minister, said, “It is impossible to retreat. We are helping, we are ready to help, but on a voluntary basis. The quotas won’t work.”
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