Wednesday November 29, 2023

Germany preparing additional migrant checks at Polish, Czech borders

Published : 26 Sep 2023, 23:51

  DF News Desk
File Photo: Xinhua.

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser is preparing additional checks at the borders with Poland and the Czech Republic on Monday, as calls to limit illegal migration are growing louder, reported dpa.

"For the time being, we are also preparing physical border checks. We are talking about additional checks," the minister said on Tuesday. "And we have to see what that will bring."

The minister added that for her it was important "that we are present with personnel in the area at the border," because otherwise this would lead to displacement and people would then cross the border in other places.

"If we catch smugglers, it will bring a lot, because at the moment we have the feeling that every fourth or fifth person comes into the country via smugglers."

Her comments come after police arrested five suspected people smugglers from Syria in raids across several German states early on Tuesday.

However, Faeser said, an effective solution is ultimately only possible at the European level, "namely border control at the external border, not via internal borders."

Earlier on Tuesday, the German Police Union (GdP) reiterated its objections to fixed checks at the borders with Poland and the Czech Republic.

"As the GdP, we speak out against physical, fixed border checks because we do not consider this to be effective in police work," the vice-chairwoman of the GdP's District Federal Police, Erika Krause-Schöne, told Tuesday's edition of the German newspaper Rheinische Post.

Smugglers would simply drive around the fixed checkpoints. Instead, the Federal Police wanted to be able to be "agile on the border," Krause-Schöne said.

Currently, temporary border checks have been in place in the southern state of Bavaria at the border with Austria since autumn 2015.

Border checks have been notified to the European Commission by the Interior Ministry and have been extended every time they have been due to expire.

The checks have to be applied for in Brussels about a month in advance - this has not yet been done for the border with the Czech Republic and Poland.

Faeser's announcement comes as migration has returned to the top of the political agenda in Germany, with many municipalities feeling overburdened and accusing the government of failing to tackle the issue.

The issue has seen a surge in support for the far-right Alternative for Germany ahead of several key state elections.