Merkel says 'transit zone' at German borders is necessary

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says transit zone at German borders necessary to cope with refugee influx

Photo by: AFP (Archive)
Photo by: AFP (Archive)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Updated Oct 18, 2015

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday suggested a proposal to establish “transit zones” at German borders to cope with increasing refugee influx.

Germany’s governing coalition two days ago had discussed plans to set up "transit zones" on the country’s border to host refugees who have no realistic chance of winning asylum.

Germany is a preferred destination for refugees, with 800,000 new arrivals expected this year. Many Germans believe that the country can’t handle the record influx.

Now, senior conservatives have raised the pressure on Merkel to reduce the number of new arrivals.

Chancellor Merkel gave a speech at an event in Hamburg organised by the youth wing of her Christian Democratic Union (CDU), where she said her transit zone approach is based on Christian values.

"I think this won't solve all the problems, but if such measures are possible under EU rules..., we have to make use of such a possibility," she said

"And I can tell you I won't rest before we have persuaded the Social Democrats," the chancellor added.

The proposal included a system that would extend to land borders in Germany. Refugees arriving from safe countries or without the proper documentation would be held for a two-day period without formally entering the country, while their applications are considered.

Merkel said that the proposal could help "in certain cases" such as when people have thrown away their identity papers, she also added that the method would not work "for thousands of refugees."

Germany already has many people from Kosovo, Albania and other Balkan countries, who have no chance of winning asylum.

Putting all newcomers into camps at a time when 6,000 to 10,000 people a day are arriving would lead to "enormous facilities with large numbers of people formally taken into custody," German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said.

TRTWorld and agencies