Merkel: 'Breathtaking' Influx Will Change Germany

Austria preparing to bring back border checks
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2015 7:52 AM CDT
Merkel: 'Breathtaking' Influx Will Change Germany
Refugees who have arrived by train from Salzburg, Austria, wait on a platform at the central station in Munich, Germany yesterday.   (Sven Hoppe/dpa via AP)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says her nation can be proud of how it welcomed thousands of refugees over a "breathtaking" weekend—but warns that Germany can't deal with the crisis alone and other European countries need to pull their weight. At a news conference today, she said the influx, expected to reach 800,000 people this year alone, is certain to "occupy and change" the country in the years ahead and Berlin will set aside an extra $6.6 billion next year to deal with it, BBC reports. In other developments:

  • The Austrian government says it is planning to bring back border checks and end the emergency measures that allowed thousands of people to travel north from Hungary, reports Reuters. "We have helped more than 12,000 people in an acute situation," Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann says. "Now we have to move step by step away from emergency measures towards normality, in conformity with the law and dignity."

  • In Bavaria, local leaders say they are "at their limit" but another 10,000 refugees are expected to arrive by train today, reports the Guardian. Makeshift camps have been set up in places including a disused car showroom and the grounds of Munich's international trade fair.
  • In neighboring Baden-Württemberg, five people were injured overnight when a suspicious fire broke out at a home for refugees, reports CNN. German authorities say there have been nearly 40 violent attacks on refugees so far this year.
  • EU countries including France and the UK have agreed to accept thousands more people, but Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban says he is opposed to any "quota" system for refugees. He says the thousands of people moving north through his country are looking for a "German life" instead of safety and says the influx could damage the "Christian welfare states" of northern Europe, the BBC reports. Hungary plans to seal off its southern border with a 13-foot fence by the end of next week.
(Read more Germany stories.)

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