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Police Predict Migrant Violence Over Border Closure

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German police warn of migrant violence as borders are closed along the Balkan route and say Germany still receives a steady flow of migrants.

In a recent report by German paper Die Welt German Federal Police have given grave warnings about potential violent uprisings among migrants as borders to Germany have closed. Police say in an internal report that, “despite the restrictive border management there are hardly any attempts to swerve around the Greek-Macedonian border. Refugees still rely on the Balkan route. Violent riots are more likely in this context.”

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They also say that the German Safety Authority would also be affected because in the new EU-Turkey summit agreement the European Commission is calling for all member states to mobilize around 2,400 police to help the Greek government deal with the ongoing situation.  The internal report also noted that they expected far more migrants to come in the coming weeks citing, “more stable weather conditions in the Aegean Sea from the end of March will favour sea smuggling.”

Since the closure of the Balkan route, tens of thousands of migrants have been left stranded in Greece. Many have staged protests in the town of Idomeni where thousands presently live in a makeshift tent city. No Borders activists even gave the migrants bolt cutters to aid them in their quest to get through the fortified border.

Idomeni is not the only place where migrants have been gathering. A group of around 1,500 migrants have formed a similar camp on the Albanian frontier, but Albanian police have been vigilant at guarding the border crossings.

Authorities in Albania and Italy worry that people smugglers may use Albania to smuggle migrants into Italy and through to Germany.

German Police say that although the borders are officially closed, it may mislead people into thinking Germany isn’t receiving more migrants. Between March 18-23 there were at least 808 migrants arriving in Germany that came either undocumented or with irregular visas, potentially even more came in unrecorded.

The idea that the border closures and the EU-Turkey deal are a panacea for the migrant crisis may be totally wrong according to experts. While German Chancellor Angela Merkel has held up the Turkey deal as “decisive” in easing the migrant crisis, many experts believe that the border closure will simply make migrants choose other routes through Albania or even through the Caucus region.

German think tank TAZ created a variety of scenarios based on different factors and found that even with all of the best conditions Germany may still see over 1.8 million migrants in 2016. Should the situation get worse, it warned Germany may be swarmed with up to 6.4 million migrants.

 


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