Danish government to send 400 military employees to guard border with Germany
The integration minister, Inger Støjberg, confirmed yesterday that 400 employees from the Danish Defence Command (Forsvaret) will be trained to assist the police at the border with Germany.
Initially, the army personnel will only help guard the border, but they may also end up conducting border checks if necessary.
A reason for concern
“We want to avoid burdening the police too much as they are transferring officers to the temporary border controls from different precincts, where they may lack the necessary manpower to carry out their daily duties,” Støjberg explained in a statement.
The training of the Defence Command personnel will take a few weeks, according to Støjberg.
Claus Oxfeldt, the chairman of the Police Federation, is concerned about the government’s decision, calling it “a sad development in a state of law”.
Refugees sent back
Meanwhile Frank Koller, the spokesperson for the German border police in Bavaria, questions why Denmark has decided to impose the temporary border controls.
According to Koller, most refugees who do not seek asylum in Germany and plan to travel to Scandinavia are immediately sent back to Austria.
Koller told DR that out of the 1,500-2,000 refugees and migrants who arrive daily in Bavaria’s largest border city, Passau, only 80-100 continue further north.
The temporary controls along the Danish border with Germany came into force on Monday as a response to the ID-checks introduced by Sweden at the Danish-Swedish border that are meant to stop the uncontrolled flow of migrants into the country.
The controls will initially last for 10 days but can be extended.
Under the Schengen Agreement, Denmark can impose border control for up to 30 days in cases in which there is a serious threat to internal security.
The German media have criticised the decision as right-wing populism and are debating the long-lasting consequences for relations between Denmark and Germany.
The temporary border controls may cause problems for thousands of commuters and negatively affect business co-operation between the two countries.