Germany is showing increased signs of losing its patience with migrants as it reinstated border controls with Austria in order to limit the number of refugees that enter the country. The move is in response to thousands of asylum-seekers that are arriving on a daily basis and which the country is unable to cope with. Migrant arrivals in Germany have skyrockets since Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the German borders to refugees last week.
Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said, “The aim of these measures is to limit the current influx to Germany and to return to orderly procedures when people enter the country. This step became necessary. The great willingness to help that Germany has shown in recent weeks – by full-time employees and especially by the many thousands of volunteers – must not be overstrained.” Maiziere added that the change in policy was needed for security measures.
Germany has become a major target for many individuals fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa. Many of the refugees are fleeing the war in Syria. According to German police, around 13,000 entered the southern city of Munich on Saturday, and an additional 3,000 arrived on Sunday morning. Germany is having a difficult time managing the flow of people. To help manage the situation, Germany has stopped train service from Austria.
A proposal from the European Commission stated that countries should begin accepting refugees based on a system of compulsory quotas. The proposal is facing intense resistance from central European countries.
Europe has experienced a massive number of refugees in what has become a very troubling situation. Immigrants have been selective on which country they attempt to start a new life in with most migrants choosing Germany or Sweden, two of the wealthier countries in Europe.
Germans have been mostly accepting of the rush of immigrants, often helping them after their long journeys, though the surge is forcing policymakers to address the situation through new measures.
Not all the immigrants in Europe have been able to reach their intended destinations safely.
The Greek coastguard stated that 28 immigrants drowned near the island of Farmakonisi. This was believed to be the largest recorded death toll of any one accident occurring in Greek waters since the immigrant influx began.
One observer claimed that they witnessed ten dinghies filled with refugees arriving on the Greek island of Lesbos from Turkey during a 90 minute period. Meanwhile, 8,500 immigrants entered Macedonia from Greece during Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon.
Prime Minister of Greece Vasiliki Thanou has been urging the European Union to create a comprehensive policy in order to handle the situation.