Federal police loosens controls on the border with Austria

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One year after the escalation of the dispute between the CDU and the CSU over the internal migration of asylum seekers, the German Federal Police on the border with Austria has switched to relaxed controls. There are established at the three highways A3, A8 and A93 for entry into Germany fixed border inspection posts in 24-hour operation.

They are to prevent illegal border crossings, but at the same time regularly cause displeasure in the affected regions and long-haul travelers, because on the Austrian side miles long traffic jams in front of the checkpoints form.

In the meantime, the Federal Police are handling the identity checks more flexibly. There are “targeted control measures also mobile, hidden and detached from the stationary control posts,” a spokesman for the Federal Police Munich describes the common practice. The consequence: “Thus temporarily no control forces in uniform at the motorway control posts for the travelers can be visible.”

According to internal instructions, the Federal Police endeavor to intervene as little as possible in traffic, so that the control posts are orphaned, especially on major travel days. In such cases, the controls would take place “in a different mode, such as in flowing traffic or in other places,” according to the Federal Police. The Federal Police would like to give no information about control levels and control times “for operational tactical reasons”.

Bavaria calls for extension of border controls

Internal border controls were introduced in the autumn of 2015, when a large number of refugees entered the country via the Balkan route. Since then, the Federal Ministry of the Interior extends it at regular intervals. The controversial measures officially continue until 11 November.

Proponents cite the deterrent effect on smugglers, and several wanted offenders are arrested at the borders. In Austria, the controls are unpopular – politicians of the country repeatedly demand to end them. Critics also point to the contradiction that at smaller crossings no checkpoints are installed.

Bavaria's Minister of the Interior Joachim Herrmann (CSU) demands that the border controls on the motorways be continued beyond the deadline of 11 November. Herrmann emphasizes, however: “We have already started to make border controls more flexible.”

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