The German interior minister, Horst Seehofer, says he wants to re-introduce border checks in a bid to reduce the number of illegal immigrants entering the country.This content was published on August 2, 2019 - 16:11
“I will do everything possible to push for smart controls at the borders,” Seehofer told the German Spiegel magazine.
Arguing that Germany recorded 43,000 illegal border crossings last year, he called for extended random police checks in border regions as well as special controls on a temporary basis.
Seehofer also mooted plans to step up security at German railway stations, adding that he will present a strategy in September.
His comments come following an attack at Frankfurt train station last Monday, when a Swiss-based Eritrean man allegedly pushed a boy and his mother in front of a train.
The suspect was arrested and is known to have psychiatric problems. He travelled to Germany with regular identity papers, but he was wanted in Switzerland in connection with domestic violence.
Germany shares borders with nine countries, including a 360km stretch with Switzerland to the south.
The debate over immigration and increased border controls has become a highly controversial domestic political issue since Germany accepted over a million refugees in 2015.
Regular controls between most European countries have been abandoned ever since the creation of the single border Schengen zone which Switzerland also joined in 2008.
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