21:28 GMT +326 September 2017
    Asylum seeker (C, L) takes a selfie picture with German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C, R) following Merkel's visit at a branch of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees and a camp for asylum-seekers in Berlin on September 10, 2015

    'No More Friendly Face': German Transport Minister Wants Border Controls

    © AFP 2017/ DPA/Bernd Von Jutrczenka
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    On Tuesday, Germany's transport minister added his voice to mounting calls for Germany to restrict the flow of refugees and migrants by imposing border controls.

    Germany and Europe must close their borders in order to protect their future, German transport minister Alexander Dobrindt told the newspaper Munich Merkur on Tuesday.

    "I urgently advise that we prepare ourselves for the fact that we will not get around border closures … I would advise all of us to prepare a Plan B," said Dobrindt, who is a member of Bavaria's Christian Social Union (CSU) party. 

    The CSU is part of a union with its sister party, Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in the Bundestag. It is also a member of Germany's ruling coalition, alongside the CDU and Social Democratic (SPD) parties.

    "The limit of the burden in Germany objectively exists, and has been reached. There are limits to integration and to the labor and housing market, and for that matter to the social system."

    ​Dobrindt criticizes Merkel: 'It's not adequate to show a friendly face,' reported Munich Merkur.

    ​Dobrindt said he disagreed with German Chancellor Angela Merkel's opinion that the open borders principle of the Schengen Zone is integral to the survival of Europe. Instead, he wants the chancellor to "give a clear signal to the world: not everyone who is in search of a better life can come to Germany."

    "Only the opposite of the sentence that 'the closure of the borders would lead to the failure of Europe' is true. A failure to close the border, and keeping this up, would bring Europe to its knees."

    "We need a rapid change in the situation, in the knowledge that this can have an impact on Germany's image in Europe. It's not adequate any more to show the world a friendly face," said Dobrindt.

    On Monday, Bavaria's Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann responded to an entreaty from the CDU's Volker Kauder, head of the CDU/CSU Bundestag coalition, to give time and patience to Merkel's plan to reduce the number of migrants and refugees in Germany, saying "it's not about the impatience of the CSU, but actual developments that mean we must come to decisions quickly."

    ​CSU representatives in the Bavarian parliament have drawn up a 12 point plan to present to the German Chancellor when she arrives to meet with them in the state on Wednesday.

    'Refugee issue at a meeting in Kreuth: CSU receives Merkel with 12 demands,' reported Spiegel.

    The plan states that "the limits of our capacity in recent months have been more than exceeded. Our population rightly expects that we restrict immigration." The document reports that in the first half of January, on average 3,000 people arrived in Bavaria each day.

    One of the measures demanded by the CSU, previously proposed by Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer, is an annual cap of 200,000 on the number of refugees entering Germany. 

    A request to be included in the quota must be made "not on the German border, but in the country where the refugees first sought protection," reported Der Spiegel.


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