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Paris changes everything on refugees: Bavaria

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A squad of police outside the French embassy in Berlin, where the European and French flags were flying at half mast on Saturday.
14:55 CET+01:00
Conservative leaders in Germany insisted on linking the terror attacks in Paris on Friday night to the country's own refugee crisis, with calls emerging on Saturday for a crackdown at German borders.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition allies in the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) quickly linked the Paris attacks to the refugee crisis in Germany.

"Paris changes everything," Bavarian finance minister Markus Söder told Die Welt am Sonntag.

"It cannot be that we don't know who is coming to Germany and what these people are doing here. This situation must be brought to an end by any means," said Söder, echoing comments by state premier Horst Seehofer.

Söder added that Germany should consider following France's lead by closing the country's borders if the European Union was unable to secure its external frontiers – something the state of Bavaria might also do itself if federal action is not forthcoming, he said.

But federal Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière warned at a Berlin press conference that politicians shouldn't "hurry to create a link" between the Paris attacks and the refugee crisis, saying that careless words might raise tensions and worsen attacks on asylum seekers and refugee homes.

The German Police Union (DPolG) also called for tougher action at the borders, with Ernst Walter, head of the DPolG federal police branch, calling for the "immediate conversion of the EU border agency Frontex to an effective European border police" in a statement.

The Federal Police's newly-created anti-terror unit should immediately be released from all other duties to focus on the threat of Islamic fundamentalism, Walter said.

Green Party leader Cem Özdemir warned against conflating the Paris attackers with refugees arriving in Germany, saying that could lead to violence.

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"If far-right fanatics in this country declare the refugees who have themselves fled from Isis [which claimed responsibility for the Paris attacks] to be targets, then they will be mocking the memory of the victims in Paris after they are dead," he told Tagesspiegel Am Sonntag.

SEE ALSO: German-held suspect 'linked to Paris attackers'

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