Germany Plans to End Austrian Border Passport Checks in May

A police officer checks a car at the border between Germany and Belgium on March 23.

Photographer: Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images

Germany is scaling back passport checks on the Austrian border and may end them by May 12 if the number of refugees crossing remains low, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said.

“We are lowering the intensity of controls now and are withdrawing police step by step,” de Maiziere told Austrian public broadcaster ORF in an interview late on Tuesday. “Based on the current assessment, if the numbers remain as low, we wouldn’t extend the border checks past May 12.”

De Maiziere also warned Italy that it risks prompting travel restrictions on the Brenner Pass route, a key highway link between Austria and northern Italy, if it sends refugees arriving from North Africa on toward Austria and Germany.

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