Germany is the latest country to have to examine its immigration policy as thousands of refugees fleeing violence in the Middle East make their way through Europe.
Fox News Latino reports that Germany will be implementing border checks along its border with Austria. According to the website, the announcement was made Sunday by Thomas de Maiziere, the Interior Minister of Germany.
According to the New York Times, the move comes just over a week after Germany and Austria had agreed to allow refugees massed in Hungary to move out of that country. In the time since, the people of Germany have been welcoming, but the government has started to feel the strain of so many people coming in.
“The aim of this measure is to limit the current influx to Germany and to return to orderly entry procedures,” de Maiziere said. “This is also urgently necessary for security reasons. The great readiness to help that Germany has shown in recent weeks… must not be overstretched.”
It wasn’t made immediately clear how the process of border checks would be implemented by Germany, or how long they would be in place. Germany continues to be the desired destination for many of refugees who have heard stories of friendly people and a strong economy.
The effect on other countries in the region was felt immediately. The Telegraph reports that within hours of the announcement from Germany, officials from the Czech Republic announced that they were also beefing up security along the country’s border with Austria.
Czech prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka said police were already being sent to the Austrian-Czech border in response to Germany’s decision “to ensure that laws and rules inside the Schengen zone are not violated.”
According to The Telegraph, Rafal Trzaskowski, Poland’s secretary of state for European affairs, said his country would be willing to take in refugees unable to make it to Germany if certain conditions are met.
“What are the conditions? We have to firmly secure EU’s external borders, we have to clearly distinguish economic migrants, accepting whom we cannot afford, from refugees that one needs to help, because they are fleeing death or persecution,” Trzaskowski said.
The move by Germany was welcomed by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who said the measure was needed to protect the values of Germany and Europe.
“We have great understanding for Germany’s decision and we’d like to express our solidarity,” Orban said, adding that other countries like Greece needed to follow the example set by Germany and tighten security along their borders.
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