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Late this afternoon, Federal Minister of the Interior Thomas de Maizière in Berlin announced that Germany would temporarily suspend the Schengen Agreement and resume border controls along the country’s southern borders in response to the current influx of refugees.
The text of Federal Minister de Maizière’s statement:
"At this moment, Germany is temporarily resuming border controls at the Schengen internal borders. The controls will initially be concentrated on the German-Austrian border.
This action is intended to contain the current influx into Germany and resume orderly procedures for entering the country. This is necessary for security reasons and is also required by the Schengen Borders Code.
Germany will continue to abide by the applicable European and national rules for the protection of refugees.
According to the applicable European law, Germany is not responsible for the large majority of those seeking protection. The Dublin procedure and the Eurodac regulations continue to apply, and I call on all European member states to comply with them. This means that the responsible member state must not only register asylum seekers, but must also process their applications.
And asylum seekers must also accept the fact that they cannot choose which EU member state will grant them protection. The same will apply when a European system for distributing refugees goes into effect.
This action has become necessary. Over the past weeks, there has been a great willingness in Germany to help. We must not wear out this good will.
Our action is thus also intended to send a signal to Europe: Germany is meeting its humanitarian obligations. However, the burdens associated with the large number of refugees must be shared within Europe in a spirit of solidarity.
I will insist on this at the meeting of EU home affairs ministers tomorrow.
Introducing temporary border controls will not solve every problem. It may also interfere with passenger travel at the borders, including train travel. So I would like to ask for your understanding. We simply need a certain amount of order at our borders.
It is still crucial to provide assistance in the crisis region itself, to prevent even more people from leaving the refugee camps there.
And the European plan to set up waiting areas in Greece, Italy and, if necessary, also Hungary must be carried out as soon as possible. That is also on the agenda of tomorrow’s meeting of EU home affairs ministers.
This action was agreed on by the governing coalition and discussed with the interior ministers of the federal states. Our Austrian partners have been informed. I have also personally informed the opposition parties."