October 28, 2015 4:51:44 pm
The latest in the odyssey of hundreds of thousands of migrants crossing Europe in search of a new life. All times local.
Germany’s top security official has sharply criticized Austria for dumping migrants at the border between the two countries under the cover of night.
Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere says “Austria’s behavior in recent days was out of line.”
De Maiziere told reporters in Berlin on Wednesday that Austrian authorities failed to warn their German counterparts about the impending arrivals.
He says the two countries have agreed to cooperate better “and I expect this to happen immediately.”
Meanwhile, Austrian officials are raising the possibility of building a fence along parts of the countries’ common border.
Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner says a fence might be needed to ensure an “orderly, controlled” entry into Austria. Defense Minister Gerald Klug says containers or railings could be set up to “be able to control the refugees in an orderly way.”
They spoke Wednesday to state broadcaster ORF.
The flow of migrants seeking a better life in the European Union over the west Balkans land route has shifted from Hungary to Slovenia since Hungary erected a fence along its border with Serbia last month. Most continue to Germany and other EU countries from Austria.
Slovenia on Tuesday also hinted that it was considering fences, on its border with Croatia.
Political leaders in the Netherlands are calling for a halt to threats and intimidation amid heated debate on providing shelter for thousands of asylum seekers entering the country.
In an open letter published Wednesday, the leaders of 11 political parties in the Dutch parliament say they understand the strong emotions on both sides of the debate but appeal to concerned citizens “not to confuse threats and insults with arguments. Let everybody speak, even if you totally disagree with them.”
In recent weeks, demonstration marches and meetings to discuss emergency housing for asylum seekers in several towns have degenerated into verbal abuse on both sides.
The leaders say that anonymous threats via mail and social media also appear to be increasing, adding that “people, whatever their view, who behave that way limit freedom for all of us.”
Even the nation’s monarch is concerned. In comments to reporters during a state visit to China, King Willem-Alexander said that, “In the Netherlands we talk things out, we don’t fight them out.”
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