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Germany braces for fresh refugee influx from Austria

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Germany braces for fresh refugee influx from Austria
Photo: Hohensalzburg Castle / Gryffindor / Wikimedia
23:31 CET+01:00
German police are doubling their presence on the Austrian border, bracing for an expected wave of refugees.

German media say authorities they fear a "permanent refugee influx" and have already drafted plans to tighten up the border with Austria, through which the bulk of the newcomers arrived at the height of the refugee crisis.

Between the city of Lindau on Lake Constance and the town of Freilassing in the southern state of Bavaria, situated directly across the border from the Austrian city of Salzburg, the number of permanently stationed policemen is to be increased from 550 to more than 1,100 in the coming years.

Rosenheim police chief Reinhard Tomm said that in order to cope with the strain, two additional inspection units would be set up in the Bavarian towns of Freilassing and Kempten, from this summer onwards.

Tomm said that with 1,200 to 1,400 migrants a month, the federal police in the Rosenheim region has the highest number of new arrivals into the country, easily beating the second most important German-Austrian border region near Passau.

The head of operations of the Rosenheim police Ludger Otto said: "This development, I think, will be permanent."

Currently, the police refuse entry to about 30 to 50 percent of all refugees they catch, after which they are sent back to Austria.

Germany, and as a result Austria as well, have announced that their border controls introduced at the height of the refugee crisis in September 2015 will be extended as long as necessary.

Yet because normally no permanent border checks are allowed within the Schengen area bar any unusual circumstances, they have to ask permission from the European Commission to extend the current border control scheme.

To date, Brussels has allowed Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway to continue the current internal border controls until mid-February.

By Koen Berghuis / Story courtesy of Central European News

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