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Germany to tighten Austrian border controls ahead of G7 summit

Travellers may face extra security checks on the Austria-Germany border as world leaders meet in Bavaria.

Germany to tighten Austrian border controls ahead of G7 summit
The Castle Elmau Hotel is pictured on May 17, 2022 in Kruen near Garmisch-Partenkirchen, southern Germany. The castle is just a few kilometres from Austria. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP)

In order to increase the security for the heads of state attending the G7 summit at the Schloss Elmau near the Alpine resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany is temporarily re-establishing border controls, including at its border with Austria.

Garmisch-Partenkirchen city is located in Bavaria, which shares an 815-kilometre border with Austria, and is just a few kilometres from Austria’s Tyrol state.

The controls are aimed at preventing potential violent perpetrators from entering Germany ahead of the G7 summit, which is taking place from June 26th to 28th.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: Which Schengen area countries have border controls in place and why?

“Travellers must therefore expect to be checked during this period,” said the government’s Interior Ministry in a statement. The border is particularly busy, with travellers and commuters going back and forth every day.

The German ministry said the checks would be carried out at the “German land, air and sea Schengen internal borders” depending on the situation, meaning that they could be more intense in certain areas or on particular dates.

Authorities warned travellers that disruptions to cross-border traffic are possible “but will be limited to what is necessary for security”.

The government reminded travellers that they are always “obliged to carry their passport or identity card when crossing the border”.

Austrian-German collaboration

Bavarian border police are supporting federal police during the checks, aiming to ensure the summit runs as smoothly as possible.

READ ALSO: What is Austria’s ‘traffic calendar’ and how can it help me save time?

The city hosting the event borders the Austrian state of Tyrol, and the state’s police are prepared to assist in case of demonstrations and protests, according to Tiroler Tageszeitung.

The meeting also affects Austria’s airspace, as Germany is introducing an “airspace restriction area” which includes massive parts of Tyrol, authorities say.

The Elmau Castle, where the G7 summit is happening, is just four kilometres away from Austria at the narrowest point.

This year Germany holds the presidency of the G7, a forum which also includes France, Italy, Japan, Canada, the UK and the USA. The summit will have the precedes of the leaders of the world’s largest economies, including German chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italy’s Mario Draghi, French President Emmanuel Macron, the UK prime minister Boris Johnson, and US president Joe Biden, among others. 

European Union leaders Ursula von der Leyen, EU Commission president, and Charles Michel, EU Council president will also be in attendance.

Several demonstrations are expected in the surrounding area.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Austrian railway workers set to strike after pay talks fall flat

Austria's railways are set to grind to a halt on Monday due to failed negotiations between unions and rail operators, the country's railway system (ÖBB) said on Sunday.

Austrian railway workers set to strike after pay talks fall flat

Austrian railway workers will hold a one-day strike on Monday after another round of negotiations between unions and railway representatives failed.

The fifth round of negotiations over pay rises for 50,000 employees from 65 different railway operators, including the main national operator ÖBB, had failed to come to a resolution.

Vida, the trade union that represents the workers, has asked for a wage increase of €400 – an average increase of around 12 percent.

In response, Austria’s Chamber of Commerce offered an increase of a 8 percent.

With walkouts set to go ahead, there will be no regional, long-distance or night trains on Monday.

“After more than twelve hours of intensive talks, the [two sides] unfortunately did not manage to come to an agreement,” the ÖBB said in a statement.

Cross-border traffic and night travel could be affected, and the ÖBB also warned of “individual train cancellations” on Sunday evening and even on Tuesday.

Andreas Matthä, CEO of ÖBB, said in a statement: “I cannot understand this strike at all. With an offer of 8.44 percent, the ÖBB has made the highest offer of any sector.”

“This is clearly a malicious strike on the part of the union,” he added.

Vida union negotiator Gerhard Tauchner said that they “are fighting for a sustainable cost of living adjustment… which will give relief to those with lower and middle incomes in particular in the face of skyrocketing prices.”

Austria’s year-on-year inflation rate hit 11 percent in October. 

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