AUSTRIA and Slovakia joined Germany in reintroducing border controls yesterday, piling pressure on EU ministers to come up with a common strategy to handle Europe’s refugee crisis.
German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel defended the new checks, saying they were not designed to keep refugees out of Germany but to create a more orderly flow of people.
He also predicted, in a letter to his Social Democrat Party, that Germany alone would see at least one million new arrivals this year — and demanded that other EU member states do more to help.
The controls were a “clear signal” to our “European partners that Germany, even if we are prepared to provide disproportionate assistance, cannot accommodate all of the refugees alone,” he wrote.
In Hungary, the government prepared to enforce new laws that will see both people-traffickers and their victims jailed if they penetrate the newly erected razor-wire fence along the border with Serbia.