Centres proposed for Germany-Austria border to aid asylum seekers

A senior figure in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative party has proposed setting up “border centres” along the frontier with Austria to speed up the repatriation of those asylum seekers deemed unqualified to stay.

Julia Kloeckner, leader of Merkel’s Christian Democrats in the western state of Rhineland-Palatinate, was careful to style her proposal as a “Plan A2” rather than a “Plan B”, adding that the chancellor’s push for a European solution to a large influx of asylum seekers into the continent was still right.

“We want to complement it,” she wrote in a paper setting out her position. In the paper, Kloeckner proposed that: “On the German-Austrian border, border centres will be set up.”

The proposal highlights the frustration in Merkel’s party with the slow progress in achieving a EU-wide solution to the refugee crisis, which is straining the infrastructure of many German municipalities.

Germany attracted 1.1m asylum seekers last year, leading to calls from across the political spectrum for a change in its handling of the number of refugees coming to Europe to escape war in Syria and elsewhere.


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