Bavaria and Saxony fear a situation like 2016


When the trains from Prague stop right behind the border in Bad Schandau in Saxony, the Federal Police a. One of their jobs then is randomly checking passports and filtering out illegal immigrants. Up to May of this year, around 500 people per month entered the country illegally, primarily on this route or via one of the motorways coming from the Czech Republic and Poland, explained Saxony's Interior Minister Armin Schuster (CDU). But since then the picture has changed, and rapidly. "The numbers are literally galloping."

Stephen Locke

Correspondent for Saxony and Thuringia based in Dresden.

Already in June was the number of these refugees in Saxony alone to 1,000, in July to 1,500 and in August to 2,000 people per month. Since September there have been around 100 illegal entries every day, primarily by train. If several police cars with flashing blue lights lead to Dresden Central Station, you can be pretty sure that a train from Prague has just arrived, said Schuster.

At the train station, the identity of the often undocumented travelers is determined. About three quarters of the refugees would get by Syria, other countries of origin are Afghanistan, Turkey and Venezuela. The officials check whether the people have already applied for asylum in another EU country and then take them to an initial reception facility. However, these are now 80 percent occupied.

Similar situation to 2016?

It is only a matter of time before you have to resort to tent cities and gymnasiums again. "We are under enormous pressure," Schuster warned, especially since the number of refugees is forecast to continue to rise. “We are heading for a situation like the one we had in 2016/17.” It could be that up to 200,000 refugees will arrive nationwide this year – in addition to the war refugees from the Ukraine.



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