Germany’s far-left interior minister reinstates border controls for European football championship

The left-liberal German government is coming under pressure to protect the country's borders

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting at the chancellery in Berlin, Germany, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

According to far-left German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser, further security measures around the European Football Championship are to begin in the coming days.

“We are responsible for border protection. That is why I have already announced that I will close the borders altogether from June, including those to the west,” the SPD politician said on ARD television on Sunday.

She noted that checks were already being conducted at the borders with Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria and Switzerland, saying this “is an important aspect of protecting those entering the country.”

Faeser has overseen a dramatic rise in crime in the country, including a record number of violent crimes, with the surge driven by the country’s ballooning migrant population. In fact, the share of foreigners committing crimes in relation to the overall crime statistics also hit a record high, including their share of violent crimes such as assault, murder and robbery. Faeser, in turn, has come under increasing criticism, including from police unions.

Following the release of Germany’s 2023 crime data, the head of the German Police Union, Rainer Wendt, slammed Faeser due to the drastic rise in foreign crime.

“The federal minister of the interior is becoming more and more like ‘Nancy in Wonderland’ when she is astonished to discover that Germany has become more violent,” Wendt told Bild. He argued that one would only be surprised with this outcome “if one has completely lost touch with the population.”

14.7 million to attend Euro championship in Germany

With regard to the sometimes chaotic scenes at the DFB Cup final in Berlin, where fans repeatedly set off pyrotechnics in the stadium, Faeser said on the television program “Bericht aus Berlin” that she assumed that this would not happen again at the European Championship:

“The security precautions in the stadiums will be stricter at the European Championship. The UEFA is the organizer and issues stricter requirements. This also applies to the area in front of the stadiums: There will be a lot of protection outside by the state and federal police,” she said.

The organizers are also prepared for several large-scale events in different regions at the same time, which, according to experts, are the biggest challenge for the security of the European Championship. According to Faeser, the fact that the European Championship is taking place at 10 venues is “not a security risk.” The authorities are expecting 14.7 million people to attend the European Championship games in stadiums or in areas where fans congregate.

The European Football Championship kicks off on June 14 in Munich, where the hosting nation will face Scotland.

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