Germany announced on Sunday that it was invoking emergency powers to start protecting its borders, seemingly reaching a point of overload after greeting with open arms tens of thousands of migrants pouring into Europe, and urging other European nations to do the same.
At a news conference Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said that Germany would reinstate controls at its southern border with Austria, after thousands of migrants have entered the country in recent weeks.
The announcement followed a meeting to discuss the refugee crisis, after the flood of people from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other troubled areas into Munich and other Eastern German cities continued unabated for the second weekend in a row.
A total of 12,200 migrants came to Munich on Saturday, according to the German police, The Associated Press reported. On Sunday morning alone, 700 people arrived at Munich’s main train station, the federal police spokesman Simon Hegewald told The A.P.
On Sunday, the Austrian police said they were coping with their biggest influx to date in the refugee crisis, with at least 500 people arriving every hour by train at the Hungarian border town of Hegyeshalom and crossing into Austria.
By 3 p.m. at least 7,000 people had streamed over the border and were being transported by special trains and buses, mostly to Vienna, but also to other destinations in Austria to prevent a bottleneck from forming, said Lt. Col. Helmut Marban, a spokesman for the police in Austria’s easternmost state of Burgenland.
“The influx is simply not stopping right now,” he said by telephone. “We really have our hands full.”
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