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Conservatives urge border checks for Tunisian refugees

The Local · 10 Apr 2011, 11:54

Published: 10 Apr 2011 11:54 GMT+02:00

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Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann and the conservatives' interior policy spokesman, Hans-Peter Uhl – both members of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats – proposed this weekend that Germany strengthen its border controls.

Italy has faced a flood of refugees, mostly from Tunisia, following the unrest in northern Africa. The majority fled to the Italian island of Lampedusa. Rome has appealed to European Union members for help in handling the influx, but the request has been met with mixed reactions in Germany.

In an interview with Welt am Sonntag, Hermann threatened to set up border checks along the German-Austrian border in the event that Rome issues Tunisian migrants visas for Schengen countries.

The Schengen agreement abolished checks along internal EU borders between the signatory countries.

"We will not accept the Italian government simply declaring the Tunisians as tourists as a way of pushing them into other countries," Hermann told the paper.

The Bavarian interior minister said he expected Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to take care of the influx himself and not pass the buck to other EU nations. He added that Italy is a country large enough to take in 23,000 Tunisian migrants.

"Only 10 percent of them have filed an asylum application," he said. "The majority are economic refugees. That is something completely different than in Libya, where people are fleeing a civil war."

Hermann called for the EU to adopt a common stance on economic migrants.

Story continues below…

Meanwhile, Hans Peter Uhl suggested that Schengen nations reinstate border checks for arrivals from Italy, according to the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung.

He said the country was allowing illegal refugees to "continue on to Germany and to France," adding that there seemed to be no other solution but to perform checks on flights from Italy.

DAPD/The Local/arp

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:37 April 10, 2011 by Sam Green
In other words "Get rid of them quick we don`t want them".Instead of allowing them into Europe and bleeding us dry in welfare benefits and bankrupting European governments.Why not take the easier and correct option- deportation back to Tunisia!
13:22 April 10, 2011 by way2cool
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
23:56 April 10, 2011 by fatherknowsbest
Why is anyone shocked at the fact that Tunisian refugees are entering europe without the proper screening? The admitted policy behind this new immigrant deluge is the same as general immigration into the EU in general - the more the better. After all the germans aren't having enough kids so the floodgates remain open the logic goes. The fact that Angela admits that multiculturalism has failed is no object. The goal is cheap labor at whatever the social price, higher crime rate, lower cohesion and greater societal fragmentation. Welcome to Thilo Sarazzin's brave new world.
00:41 April 11, 2011 by Harlan
Do not let them in! They will disappear and you will never find them or be able to get rid of them.
07:18 April 11, 2011 by Victor Scicluna
Germany should simply take all of them no matter how many and no matter why as they are the ones shouting their heads off when Italy,Greece or Malta send illegal immigrants back.... Germany has now basically hid behind the fact that they accept political refugees if they reached their border first without having come from other democratic neighbouring country .. this technically means that one has to reach Germany by official air which of course is nearly impossible ..

Malta, Spain, Greece and Italy face a different situation, it is clearly known that there are over 1 million ready to cross, any effort to keep them back and the ´DO GOODERS`of Europe shout of lack of human rights and so on.

So I fully agree with Italy ... let them in ... give them permission and they will move on to the people who protect their rights .. of course only to fínd that they do this as long as they stay out of their lovely country.
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