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Germany temporarily reinstates border control amid refugee crisis

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(Xinhua)  German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere on Sunday announced that Germany temporarily reinstates border control amid the ongoing refugee crisis.

Border controls will take place mainly in Bavaria, the minister said. "The aim is to limit the refugees influx."

"The action will not solve all problems. We need more time and a degree of order on our borders," said Thomas de Maiziere.

De Maiziere also said that the introduction of border controls is compatible with the Schengen Agreement.

Under the current European law, Germany is not responsible for most of the asylum seekers, he said, adding that the rules of the Dublin Convention are still valid.

He called on all European Union (EU) Member States not just to register the refugees entering the EU, but also to carry out the asylum procedure.

De Maiziere stressed that the reintroduction of temporary border controls has "been in the coalition discussed and decided by common accord."

EU'S RESPONSE

The European Commission on Sunday said that the German decision of temporary border controls underlined the urgency to agree on the measures proposed by the Commission in order to manage the refugee crisis.

"The temporary reintroduction of border controls between Member States is an exceptional possibility explicitly foreseen in and regulated by the Schengen Borders Code, in case of a crisis situation," said a Commission statement.

It said that "the current situation in Germany, prima facie, appears to be a situation covered by the rules."

"The objectives of our efforts must be to help ensure that we can go back to the normal Schengen system of open borders between Schengen Member States as soon as feasible," it said.

The statement noted that the free movement of people under Schengen is a unique symbol of European integration. However, the other side of the coin is a better joint management of our external borders and more solidarity in coping with the refugee crisis.

"We need swift progress on the Commission's proposals now," it said.

TRAINS TO, FROM AUSTRIA SUSPENDED

According to German newspaper "Passauer Neue Presse", the German Government also stopped the train to and from Austria.

The Austrian Federal Railways announced Sunday it temporarily suspended train services to Germany at the request of Germany's rail service. The halt in rail traffic is to last for 12 hours, and be lifted at 6:00 am local time on Monday morning.

As the German newspaper Bild reported, Germany's Bavarian state government has asked for mobilization of federal police to accomplish the task.

The German government would send 21 groups of hundreds of riot police to Bavaria to help secure the border, said the report.

According to the report, the German police will also expand their dragnet controls to the borders with the Czech Republic and Poland in order to prevent evasion of border controls to Austria.

Germany expects an unprecedented influx of up to 800,000 refugees and asylum seekers this year, as Europe is grappling with its biggest migrant crisis since the Second World War.

While there have been internal divisions between EU member states and EU institutions over the refugee issue, German Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision to suspend the Dublin Rule, which requires refugees to register asylum requests in the country where they have first arrived in Europe, helped achieve agreement on emergency measures.

However, a spokesman for Germany's interior ministry said at the beginning of September that Germany has not suspended Dublin rules.

In the past week, tens of thousands of refugees had taken the so-called Balkan route and arrived in Germany via Austria, especially with trains to Munich, the first stop in Germany for most refugees.

European Union member states' interior minister will gather in Brussels for an extraordinary meeting to discuss refugee-related issues.

Reports suggest that Pakistan and Indian border officials have also agreed to jointly resolve sensitive issues like ceasefire violations and cross-border infiltration through the exchange of information, including via e-mail and telephone.

They also signed other confidence building measures and underscored the need for ensuring security and the well-being of their border populations. They also decided to establish a coordinated border control mechanism to check cross-border smuggling.


Sunday, Sep 20, 2015 12:16 pm


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