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Despite the EU's resistance, the federal minister continues to monitor the German-Austrian border. The controls also apply to flights from Greece.

Thomas de Maizière: Federal government extends border controls

Despite the EU's resistance, the federal minister continues to monitor the German-Austrian border. The controls also apply to flights from Greece.

Thomas de Maizière: Federal government extends border controls

Germany extends border controls for anor six months. The Federal Minister Thomas de Maizière (CDU). The Austrian-German border as well as flight connections from Greece to Germany are affected.

De Maizière justified decision with a risk of terrorism, shortcomings in protection of EU's external borders and illegal migration within states of Schengen. The German-Austrian land border was main focus of illegal migration to Germany, said de Maizière. In addition, more and more unauthorised entry into country was also detected by air from Greece.

Germany had introduced 2015 controls on Austrian border due to high number of refugees in September. They are possible because Council of EU had activated so-called "crisis mechanism" of Schengen border code.

The EU Commission has been asking for a longer period of time to expire checks and has approved a last extension in May 2017. Such a measure must remain an exception and be proportionate, it was said. It is also mentioned that number of illegal refugees in Greece since refugee agreement with Turkey has been 97 per cent.

De Maizière argues against fact that a complete return to a Schengen area without controls is only possible, "if development of overall situation allows this to happen." But this will still take time.

The extension, which was now ordered, was given in close consultation with Ministries of Interior in Austria, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. "Wher furr internal borders need to be controlled in future, ongoing situation assessment is reserved," said De Maizière.

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