Paris attacks spur fresh calls for new EU border controls

Europe’s already charged debate over the influx of Middle East refugees was given fresh fuel by the attacks on Paris, with rightwing politicians and governments arguing for new border controls as EU leaders chided them for conflating terrorism and migration.

Jean-Claude Juncker, European Commission president, on Sunday rebuked those attempting to use the attacks to change EU policy as populists who are improperly equating asylum-seekers with outlaws. “We should not mix the different categories of people coming to Europe. The one responsible for the attacks in Paris . . . is a criminal and not a refugee and not an asylum-seeker,” Mr Juncker said at the G20 summit in Turkey. He added: “I would invite those in Europe who try to change the migration agenda we have adopted . . . to be serious about this and not to give in to these basic reactions that I do not like.”

Mr Juncker’s comments came amid calls from a growing number of politicians, including mainstream leaders as well as far-right populist fringes, for an immediate rethinking of Europe’s migration policy. The tensions were particularly fraught in Germany, where Chancellor Angela Merkel is already under fire from within her own centre-right grouping for her open stance on immigration.

Markus Söder, the Bavarian finance minister and a member of Ms Merkel’s CSU sister party, on Sunday called for more checks on the German border and said his southern border region would take matters into its own hands if Berlin did not do more. “Paris changes everything,” Mr Söder told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper. If Germany cannot secure its borders . . . then Bavaria can take on this task”.

Horst Seehofer (foto), the Bavarian prime minister, on Sunday called for federal police to impose controls on all border crossings with Austria.

Lees verder op The Financial Times