No risk of repeated refugee wave, German interior minister says

GERMAN PRESS AGENCY - DPA
BERLIN
Published 26.08.2017 13:25
Updated 26.08.2017 16:08
German Minister of the Interior Thomas de Maiziere speaks during a news conference about the riots related to the G20 Summit in Hamburg last week, in Berlin, Germany, 10 July 2017. (EPA Photo)
German Minister of the Interior Thomas de Maiziere speaks during a news conference about the riots related to the G20 Summit in Hamburg last week, in Berlin, Germany, 10 July 2017. (EPA Photo)

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said there is no risk of a repeat of the massive wave of almost 1 million refugees who arrived in the country two years ago.

"I do not see a development like we had in the autumn of 2015," de Maiziere said in an interview with dpa published on Saturday.

"We have also done a lot to make sure it doesn't come to that ... The year 2015 may not, should not and will not be repeated," he said in an interview conducted earlier in the week in Berlin.

Referring to the rise in migrants crossing the Mediterranean in rickety boats to Italy, the minister said there should no longer be a policy of waving people through.

De Maiziere said that he believed the deal reached between the European Union and Turkey to block the route refugees had previously taken from Turkey into the EU via the Greek islands was holding.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's main rival for the chancellorship in next month's elections, Social Democrat Martin Schulz, recently warned of a fresh wave of asylum seekers given the rise in arrivals in Italy.

De Maiziere dismissed fears that these refugees would head north for Germany.

"Firstly, we are better prepared; secondly Italy is behaving differently this time; and thirdly, the numbers of refugees in Italy is not as high as the sweeping claims that are made about it," the minister told dpa.

He pointed out that the numbers of refugees arriving in Italy had dropped dramatically in July and August.

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