Now the European Union’s 20-year-old border-free travel zone unravelled soon after Germany brought back passport checks, admitting it could no longer cope with the massive influx.
Other states swiftly followed Germany’s lead and reintroduced controls as bickering intensified between EU leaders unable to agree on how to handle the crisis. German willingness to accept huge numbers appears fading. Germany made the decision to reimpose border controls after admitting it could no longer cope with a record influx of refugees. The city of Munich alone recorded an influx of 63,000 asylum seekers in just two weeks.
German police are patrolling Austrian border crossings. Der Spiegel said soldiers may guard road and rail borders. Closing Polish and Czech Republic access may follow. Hungary also shut its borders to migrants from war-torn Syria and beyond earlier in the day, telling those who wanted to cross that they would have to travel to a transit center and apply for asylum.
The Hungarian Government announced this morning two of its southern counties bordering Serbia are now officially in a state of emergency due to the sheer number of refugees entering the country.
The shock move gives the Government powers to mobilise the army, to help police with border controls, and gives them power to search homes without a warrant if they suspect migrants may be hiding there – pending approval from parliament which is expected next week.
The Hungarian government announced late this morning all children under 18 without the correct documents will be placed in “children’s institutions” while their parents will be put in one of two holding areas called “transit zones”.
Hungarian police said they detained a record 9,380 migrants crossing into the country from Serbia on Monday. They will built a security fence along the border with Romania if refugees try to enter Hungary that way as well.
The Eastern European countries argue that a welcoming stance encourages more people to come, overwhelming welfare systems and risking the dilution of national cultures.
Under its new rules, Hungary said it had determined Serbia was “safe”, and therefore it could automatically deny asylum claims at the border.
“If someone is a refugee, we will ask them whether they have submitted an asylum request in Serbia. If they had not done so, given that Serbia is a safe country, they will be rejected,” Orban was quoted as telling private broadcaster TV2 on Monday.
Hungary says it has rejected all 16 asylum requests made under the new border regime on its southern frontier with Serbia within hours. Another 32 claims are being processed and 174 people are to be prosecuted for crossing the border illegally, Viktor Orban’s security advisor said.
Macedonian police firing tear gas and stun grenades drove back crowds of migrants and refugees trying to enter from Greece on Friday. Greece is also considering deporting back to Turkey and other countries they came from.
EU BACKS PLANS TO BLOW UP BOATS BELONGING TO PEOPLE SMUGGLERS OPERATING IN THE MEDITERRANEAN
EU member states approved on Monday plans for military action against people smugglers in the Mediterranean, seizing and destroying boats to break up networks operating out of Libya, sources said.
The European Union launched a first, intelligence gathering phase of its EU NavFor Med operation in July but now it will be allowed to stop and if necessary destroy boats which have carried thousands of
EU member states approved on Monday plans for military action against people smugglers in the Mediterranean, seizing and destroying boats to break up networks operating out of Libya.
A third phase involves military action against people smugglers inside Libyan territorial waters, aiming to destroy their boats and networks before they set sail.
This step is more controversial given the increased risks and requires at a minimum a UN Security Council resolution and preferably Libyan government agreement.
The great migration has led to the unraveling of one of the 28-member EU’s signature achievements, its Schengen system of border-free travel across much of the continent. It may also lead to the fall of the European Union.