Germany tightens border controls to reduce refugee influx

Germany accuses Austria of sending refugees over their common border as tone sharpens

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Refugees crossing the Austrian-German border.

Updated Oct 29, 2015

Germany toughened its statement over their response to an accelerating influx of refugees, promised to increase the expulsion of them and accused its neighbour Austria of attempting to send refugees over their border after dark.

The sharper tone from Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere came as a new poll showed support for Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives slumping to a three-year low over her handling of the refugee crisis.

She has been combating with her conservative supporters in Bavaria, where most refugees are crossing into Germany from Austria.

According to sources from Germany,  Horst Seehofer, who leads the Christian Social Union in Bavaria said on Wednesday that he was thinking of withdrawing his party’s three ministers from Merkel’s cabinet in Berlin, as a form of protesting her policies.

Merkel has given a positive message in the face of criticism from Seehofer.

"We cannot flip the switch in one go - we must proceed step by step," she told media sources.

Merkel has declared that the number of refugees can only be solved by acting together with Turkey, and the EU.

Recent polls show that the supporter of conservatives is running out slowly and Merkel’s popularity has also slipped.

Although the declining poll numbers, she use her mantra ‘’we can do this.’’ But the tougher statement on Wednesday pointed to a shift in tone that may be aimed at containing the political damage.

"I expect that in the coming weeks, the number of deportations and voluntary departures will rise significantly," De Maiziere said.

"We observed that refugees, without warning and after dark, were being driven to the German border without any provisions or forethought. There were intensive contacts. Austria agreed yesterday to return to an orderly process. I expect this to occur immediately," de Maiziere added.

TRTWorld and agencies