aGiven the growing number of refugees on the route through Belarus and Poland to Germany, the federal government is considering further steps. This is a “situation that we are watching closely,” government spokesman Stephen Seibert said Monday in Berlin. Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) will present “options for action” in Cabinet on Wednesday. Seibert noted, among other things, the “increased search for veils.”
“Further measures are being coordinated to prevent illegal immigration,” a spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior said. Did not want to give details. According to her, about 4,500 people have crossed the Polish-German border without an entry permit since August.
The Federal Police Union had previously called for temporary border controls in light of the situation in order to respond to the situation. Seibert explained that the basic position of the federal government, which has not yet provided for the closure of borders in the European Schengen area, has not changed.
Seibert also noted that the situation at the Polish-German border “cannot be compared in any way” to the situation during the refugee crisis in 2015. However, the government spokesperson stressed that the federal government must react to specific developments at the border. A spokesman for Interior Minister Seehofer said earlier that the minister wanted to propose measures at Wednesday’s cabinet meeting. The federal government and the governments of Latvia, Lithuania and Poland accuse Belarus Governor Alexander Lukashenko of moving migrants and refugees from crisis areas to the external borders of the European Union in an orderly fashion. Lukashenko announced at the end of May that Minsk would not prevent migrants from continuing to travel to the European Union – in response to tough Western sanctions against his country.
Police union wants temporary controls
Meanwhile, the head of the Federal Police Union, Heiko Teggatz, is pushing for temporary border controls with Poland. Tejatz justified this in a letter to Seehofer with the health risks to federal police employees, as reported by the Bild Zeitung newspaper. The Police Consortium (GdP) does not believe in this idea at the moment.
“For several months, the number of arrests has increased almost explosively,” the newspaper quoted a letter from the Federal Police Union as saying. Only with the introduction of temporary border controls can the federal government prevent a “collapse” at the border as it did in 2015. “Our colleagues are also exposed to significant health risks, as SARS-COV-2 infections remain very high, especially in the countries of origin of migrants ( Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Iran, Afghanistan, etc.) and they are very rarely recorded by the authorities.”
Hygiene regulations such as those common in Germany and Europe will not be observed during smuggling. The President of the Union suggested: The European Union should withdraw take-off and landing permits from such airlines within the European Union and thus increase the economic pressure.
“We are not ready anymore to see that there are also companies like airlines that make money with them,” Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Monday at a meeting with his counterparts in Luxembourg. You need penalties with which you can make it clear that you are not ready to accept this again.
“Currently we see no reason to monitor the border”
Mas once again raised serious allegations against the governor of Belarus Lukashenko personally. “We are faced in Europe with the fact that Lukashenko is using refugees as a tool to put pressure on European countries,” he said. He is “nothing more than the head of a state smuggling gang”.
Lithuanian Interior Minister Agni Belutait has announced an increase in troops to support the border guards – up to 64 additional soldiers will be deployed each day. “We must respond and prepare for the worst,” the statement quoted Belotti as saying. Defense Minister Arvidas Anusauskas stressed that the poor of Lithuania had provided support “in the context of hybrid aggression” and would continue to do so.
Brandenburg Interior Minister Michael Stubgen (CDU) has expressed concerns about the proposal to impose temporary border controls on the German-Polish border. “Whether the capabilities of the federal police are sufficient to control several hundred kilometers from the border with Poland and whether the efforts are worthwhile can only be done by the federal government,” Stubgen said on Monday from the German news agency DPA. He had doubts that temporary checks would solve the problem. He warned of an “escalation spiral” on the border.
“We don’t currently see any reason to monitor the border,” Andreas Roskopf, head of the Federal Police District of the Police Consortium (GdP), told dpa. “Yes, there must be a reaction, but we prefer to intensify the search for the border,” he added. The current situation in terms of the number of asylum seekers arriving is not comparable to the situation in the fall of 2015.