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German Leaders Want to Keep Border Controls in Place

  • Associated Press

French and German police conduct a control at the French-German border at the "Le Pont de l'Europe" bridge in Strasbourg, France, to check vehicles and verify the identity of travellers as security measures continue, Dec. 22, 2016.

Senior German politicians say they want to keep border controls imposed amid last year's migrant influx in place beyond mid-February, when they're currently due to expire.

With a national election expected in September and German leaders seeking to draw lessons from last week's attack on a Berlin Christmas market, there's little appetite for dropping border checks.

Stephan Mayer, a home affairs spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative Union bloc, told Deutschlandfunk radio Tuesday: "As long as the danger and threat in Germany is as high as at present, we cannot help but keep the internal border controls.''

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper that he intends to keep the border controls "well beyond February.'' That would require approval from the European Union's executive Commission.

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