16:45 GMT +309 December 2019
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    German Minister Warns of ‘Other Measures' If Merkel's Refugee Policy Fails

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    German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said there are two weeks left to resolve migration crisis according to the scenario of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    If Merkel's plan fails, Germany will have to introduce "other" protective measures at the European level, the politician stated earlier, adding that the next two weeks will be crucial.

    According to de Maiziere, all EU countries have agreed that the protection of the EU's external border with Turkey is a priority. This means that the European border agency Frontex and NATO will be involved in border controls and that the refugees trying to cross the border will be sent back to Turkey, the minister said.

    "Over the next two weeks it will become clear how effective this option is. Otherwise, we will inevitably have to take other measures, for example, to carry out the protection of the Schengen area at the other part of the border," de Maiziere said in an interview with ARD TV Channel on Sunday.

    On Wednesday, the Steering Committee of the Facility for Refugees in Turkey mandated the European Commission to implement the EU-Turkey Joint Action Plan's 2016 contribution of $1.6 billion. Brussels pledged $3.3 billion overall under the two-year action plan to support millions of Syrian refugees housed in Turkey.

    The politician also criticized Austrian authorities for their decision to close the country's borders after accepting a certain quota of refugees.

    "If others think to pass the additional burden on Germany, we are not going to endlessly tolerate this," he said in referring to the recent decision of the Vienna government to take in no more than 80 migrants daily and transfer another 3,200 refugees a day to Germany. "We do not agree with this," the minister stressed.

    Austria has been criticized by the European Commission and several other EU bodies for imposing a limit on the number of asylum requests, which is considered a breach of the Union's human rights laws.


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