Germany’s governing coalition is arguing over whether to set up “transit zones” on the country’s border to quickly weed out migrants who have no realistic chance of winning asylum.
Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc is pushing the idea. It would entail extending to Germany’s land borders a system that already exists at its airports, where migrants who arrive from countries considered safe or without papers can be held while asylum applications are processed quickly.
Merkel says the idea could help. But it remains unclear how the zones would work and her center-left coalition partners are deeply skeptical.
Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said Wednesday that his Social Democrats wouldn’t back a system that entails people being interned at the border.
Croatia’s conservative president says her country might need to build a fence on its border to stop the migrant influx just as neighboring Hungary has done.
President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic tells the Jutarnji List daily on Wednesday that “I think some kind of a fence or physical barrier will be needed in the future.”
She adds “I would like to avoid that, but I don’t see how else we can protect ourselves,” particularly if neighboring countries close their borders with Croatia.
Hungary has sealed its border with Serbia and threatened to do the same with Croatia because of the tens of thousands of migrants crossing through to go to Western Europe. Croatia’s liberal government has ruled out building a fence.
More than 170,000 asylum-seekers have passed through Croatia since mid-September.