Thursday, October 29, 2015


Migrants wait to cross the Austrian-German border at the Innbruecke bridge near the Austrian village of Braunau and the German village Simbach am Inn on October 27, 2015 - AFP / Christof Stache

BERLIN: Bavaria’s state premier on Tuesday blasted Austria for waving through thousands of migrants to Germany without informing local authorities and called on Chancellor Angela Merkel to intervene.
“Austria’s behaviour is hurting our neighbourly relations. We cannot and should not deal with each other this way,” premier Horst Seehofer told the Passauer Neue Presse in an interview.
Bavaria, in southeastern Germany, borders Austria and has been the main gateway for hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers arriving in Germany in recent months.
Bavarian authorities, already struggling to cope with the record numbers, are accusing Vienna of failing to inform them when new arrivals are on their way.
They complain that the lack of coordination is leaving them scrambling at the last minute to find resources to welcome the newcomers.
Austrian police rejected the claims as “a joke”, saying both sides are in constant contact over coordination on the asylum seeker influx.
“Usually we don’t comment on political statements but the fact is that if Austria receives 11,000 people in Spielfeld on a daily basis, Bavaria cannot say that it will just process up to 50 people an hour at its border. That’s a joke,” said police spokesman David Furtner.
“Plus this doesn’t meet German standards: the government said that all refugees would be welcome. There seems to be a problem of interpretation by German national police who counteract the directive with restrictions (in migrant numbers),” he added.
Merkel herself sought to calm nerves, saying that Germany has had “constant contact with Austria in recent weeks, likewise today, tomorrow and the day afternoon too.”
Vienna sang the same tune, with Faymann’s office speaking of the “close contact” with Merkel.
Austria and Germany are both members of Europe’s borderless Schengen zone. MORE

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