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Germany imposes border controls over refugee surge

Posted September. 15, 2015 07:34,   


Germany will impose controls at the border with neighboring Austria as it continues to deal with a surge in refugees.

According to Austrian rail officials, its rail services to Germany would be stopped starting 5 p.m. Sunday. The suspension came after German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann had a phone conversation on border controls.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told a press conference on Sunday, “The aim of these measures is to limit the current inflows to Germany and to return to orderly procedures when people enter the country." More than 13,000 asylum seekers arrived in Munich on Saturday alone, bringing the total projected number of people making it to the country this year to 800,000, which is four times the figure of last year.

Denmark had temporarily imposed controls of railroads and express ways to prevent surging inflow of refugees. Speculations are rising that the Schengen Agreement can break down in its 20-year history. The agreement guarantees passport-free freedom of movement within 26 European countries without visa or checks. Camino Mortera-Martinez, a research fellow at Center for European Reform, said the dismantlement of the Schengen Agreement threatens the very existence of the European Union.

Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka has beefed up police forces along its southern border with Austria on Sunday to stem inflow of refugees, a means to tighten safety measures. Italy also imposed temporary border controls early this month. In France, Marine Le Pen, head of the extreme right Front National party, had posted a message “Bye, bye, Schengen” on her Twitter.