Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Merkel in favor of extending German border controls

Merkel in favor of extending German border controls
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has spoken out in favor of extending German border controls on Tuesday, supporting a call to maintain such measures adopted by Interior Minister and CSU leader Horst Seehofer.

"The chancellor and interior minister have reached an agreement that an extension of controls at the German border is currently necessary," Steffen Seibert, official spokesperson for the chancellery, told the press here.

Earlier, Seehofer had demanded a continuation of border patrols as long as external border management measures established by the European Union (EU) were not sufficiently cohesive and effective. However, a spokesperson for the Interior Ministry noted that the extension would not be indefinite.

EU members and states in the European Economic Area (EEA), which have signed the Schengen agreement, are legally obliged to refrain from internal border controls within the free-travel area that was established in 1995. Exemptions to this rule can only be obtained in exceptional circumstances and on a time-limited basis as defined and granted by the European Commission in Brussels.

Berlin's current provision for border controls in response to the "refugee crisis" expires in May 2018, although the measures have already been extended several times since 2015.

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