The Swiss border guards corps is preparing for an influx of migrants along the eastern borders of country. Increasing numbers of migrants have been observed recently in that region.
In an interview published on Sunday in the German-language paper “Schweiz am Sonntag“, head of the Swiss border guard corps Jürg Noth, acknowledged the presence of an increasing number of migrants along Switzerland’s eastern border with Germany and Austria.
According to him, Germany is already feeling the pinch of Austria’s policy to let migrants pass through unchecked. Thousands of migrants entered Austria on Saturday and from there travelled to Germany after being allowed to leave Hungary.
“The amassing of large groups of migrants along our border is also a possibility,” he said.
In Buchs in the north-eastern canton of St. Gallen, border guards identified 709 illegal immigrants in August compared to 209 in July and 110 in June. Noth said that reinforcements were being brought in to Buchs and the Rhine valley but warned that more border guards in the east will mean cuts elsewhere, especially along the northern border.
Switzerland currently has around 2000 guards manning its borders. The Swiss cabinet had recently approved 48 additional border guards for the eastern border but Noth estimates that between 200 to 300 might be needed.
On Sunday Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann announced that it was time to phase out the unrestricted flow of migrants from Hungary to Austria and Germany.
"We have always said this is an emergency situation in which we must act quickly and humanely. We have helped more than 12,000 people in an acute situation. Now we have to move step by step away from emergency measures towards normality in conformity with the law and dignity," he said in a statement after discussions with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
swissinfo.ch and agencies