German Interior Ministry does not expect reduction of refugee numbers

The German Interior Ministry does not expect arriving refugee numbers to decline in the near future, despite Chancellor Angela Merkel's pledge to ensure "a marked reduction" in new arrivals this year, a spokeswoman told dpa in Berlin on Saturday.

"We are not expecting a marked long-term easing of the [refugee] influx into German territory within the foreseeable future," the spokeswoman said.

"In the face of this enormous influx of refugees, temporary controls of [the EU's] internal borders are an appropriate and necessary instrument to facilitate ordered processes directly at the border and to ensure public safety," she added.

According to recent counts, between 1,300 and 2,800 refugees have been arriving at the German border with Austria each day.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere had announced that Germany was to continue its border controls there for the time being. The temporary measure had been introduced in mid-September and was initially due to expire on February 13.

According to a report by German paper Welt am Sonntag, several European countries are planning to extend their border controls for another 18 months, as large numbers of refugees continue to arrive in the European Union.

Countries such as Germany, Austria, Belgium, Sweden and Denmark were in favour of controls being implemented in several Schengen countries, the paper reported, citing information from high-ranking EU officials.

Germany registered a record of nearly 1.1 million refugees in 2015.

Last update: Sat, 23/01/2016 - 17:26

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