De Maizière: Refugees not only Germanys problem

Home Secretary threatens others with consequences

The Bundestag has for the first time discussed the government's 'Asylum package II'. The package of measures includes the controversial policy of suspending the right of refugees with restricted, subsidiary protection to have their families join them.

 In the wake of the refugee crisis Home Secretary Thomas de Maizière (CDU) has warned other European states of following their own paths. Maizière told the German parliament (Bundestag) on Friday: "It would be unacceptable if some countries should try to remove and pin all the troubles caused by the common issue of the refugee crisis on Germany's back." This would not be "accepted by Germany without consequences in the long run". The Home Secretary did not mention any additional details.

De Maizière renewed his plea to find a common European solution to the refugee crisis. It is in the interest of Germany to insist on maintaining the Schengen rule of freedom of movement for travelling "for as long as possible".  He said that this means the outer borders of the EU should be protected but the borders within the EU should be controlled as little as possible.

 The four Visegrad countries Hungary, Poland, Slowakia and the Czech Republic had announced that they would help Macedonia and Bulgaria close their borders with Greece if Athens did not close its sea border with Turkey. Such a step would ensure that countless refugees would be stuck in Greece and would also ensure that the EU member state would be de facto blocked off from the EU schengenzone. At the moment the EU is trying to work with Turkey to reduce and control the number of refugees coming to Europe.

 In addition since Friday there have been daily quotas for the number of refugees being accepted in Austria. The police chefs of five countries - Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Slowenia and Austria - also agreed on the creation of a common registration center for refugees on the Greek-Macedonian border. The plan also envisions refugees being transferred from the southern Macedonian border to Austria in a "controlled" fashion - and from there on to Germany.

© 2016 AFP

  • De Maizière
  • Germany
  • Refugee Crisis