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

More from Europe

Left-winger and former premier top French primary

Benoit Hamon and Manuel Valls were out in front in France's nationwide primary on Sunday to choose who will be the...

Romanian president joins thousands in anti-government rally

Thousands of Romanians were joined by President Klaus Iohannis in a street protest in Bucharest on Sunday against...

Suspected accomplice detained in Germany in foiled Vienna attack

A 21-year-old man and his wife have been arrested in their home in the western German city of Neuss on suspicion of...

May vows to press Trump on "unacceptable" remarks in Friday meeting

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday vowed to confront US President Donald Trump about any "unacceptable"...

Hungarian bus company probed for negligence after Italy crash

Criminal negligence charges are being mulled against the owners of a bus that was in a fatal accident in Italy at...