There was heavy traffic banked up on major highways connecting Austria and Germany on Monday after temporary border checks were imposed at the border.
A spokesman for Deutsche Bahn said most train services between the two countries resumed at 7 a.m. local time (0500 UTC) after a 12-hour stoppage. There were still delays on the Salzburg-Munich route, where people were reportedly blocking the tracks. According to Reuters, authorities have closed a motorway linking Austria to Hungary in response to the thousands of migrants traveling west towards Germany.
The German government ordered police to begin checking travel documents Sunday from anyone entering from the southern frontier with Austria, where migrant arrivals have soared since Chancellor Angela Merkel effectively opened German borders to refugees a week ago.
“The aim of these measures is to limit the current inflows to Germany and to return to orderly procedures when people enter the country,” German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said. “This is also urgently necessary for security reasons.”
German Police check passports Sunday evening along the border with Austria
Berlin has become increasingly frustrated with the reluctance of many within the 28-nation European Union – especially those in the former Eastern bloc – to share the burden of hosting refugees.
At an emergency meeting scheduled for Monday in Brussels, EU interior ministers will discuss a proposal from the bloc’s executive Commission to redistribute about 160,000 asylum seekers across member states.
Germany is a preferred destination for many people fleeing Syria’s civil war and other troubled nations in the migration crisis. A spokeswoman for the southern state of Bavaria told local media more than 19,000 refugees had arrived by rail in Munich over the weekend.
Germany’s interior ministry has not specified how long the border controls would remain in place or how exactly incoming migrants would be handled, saying only that Germany will continue to observe national and European rules on protecting refugees.
United Nations human rights chief Zeid Raad al-Hussein on Monday urged Europe to implement “expanded channels of regular migration and resettlement” to curb people smugglers and prevent migrant deaths.
About 450,000 migrants have entered Germany so far this year and a total of at least 800,000 are expected this year – by far the most in the EU.
‘Hungary a place of humiliation’
Meanwhile in Hungary, refugees continue to stream in from Serbia in an attempt to make it into the EU before the border …Read More