Germany admits Schengen zone nations MUST bring back border check because terrorists pretending to be refugees are moving freely across the continent
- Documents suggest implementing a ‘filter function of Europe’s external borders’
- German officials reportedly fear terrorists are disguising themselves as refugees
- The details emerged from minutes of a meeting of EU ambassadors in Brussels
Germany has admitted Schengen zone nations must bring back border checks amid fears terrorists pretending to be refugees are moving freely across the continent.
Minutes from a meeting of EU ambassadors in Brussels suggest introducing a ‘filter function of the external borders’, according to reports in Germany.
Although free movement is allowed within Europe’s Schengen area, some member states have brought passport border checks back in.
Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere has said such controls are only ‘temporary’ but they have been extended on a number of occasions with the current measures in place until February.
According to Der Spiegel, minutes from the ambassador’s meeting suggest Germany wants to extend the controls following a tip-off over terror suspects trying to enter the country disguised as asylum seekers.
The magazine says Germany will need have to give the EU Commission ‘detailed’ intelligence about any terror threat before an extension of border controls can be granted.
Brussels commissioners want a return to the Schengen agreement – no frontier controls – as soon as possible after agreeing a suspension last year at the height of the refugee crisis.
But a few weeks ago interior commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos rejected an extension to February, putting him on a collision course with Berlin.
The Federal Government and the State of Bavaria sought an extension of border controls until after the general election in September next year.
Merkel, whose popularity slumped after Germany let in 890,000 migrants last year, will seek a fourth term in office in a national election due in autumn 2017.
If Europe fails to give a green light on the issue German media report that federal and state officials are ready to defy the EU and keep the checks on the border with Austria anyway.
The domestic policy spokesman of Merkel’s government in the Bundestag, Stephan Mayer, told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper: ‘I am convinced that border controls need to be urgently extended beyond February 2017 also.’
The politician, who comes from the border area to Austria, added: ‘If the commission does not approve the extension, for which I have no understanding, the federal government must continue its own border controls on the Bavarian-Austrian border.’
Magazine Der Spiegel reported on an internal meeting of EU ambassadors in Brussels in which Germany said it needed to keep the checks in place in order to thwart Islamic terror plots.
The BND, Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, said that ISIS was training its agents how to apply for asylum and answer questions from officials that did not betray their true intentions.
Intelligence officials estimate hundreds of Isis Jihadists have infiltrated into the country in the refugee wave, waiting for orders from the middle east to carry out attacks.
With Germany struggling to cope with around 17,500 new asylum seekers each month, the government is adamant that the border controls must stay in place.
For Chancellor Merkel the border controls send a vital signal that she is toughening up on refugees ahead of an election which could see the hard right erode her majority, or perhaps even jeaopardise her bid for a fourth term in power.