The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Border controls make themselves felt in Switzerland

  • By The Swiss Times
  • 18 October 2023

The stationary border controls announced by Germany are already having an impact on Switzerland. For example, the controls introduced led to traffic jams at times in Kreuzlingen TG.

Border controls make themselves felt in Switzerland
Photo by Imre Tömösvári on Unsplash

A spokeswoman for the Federal Office of Customs and Border Security (BAZG) confirmed this to the Keystone-SDA news agency on Tuesday. Due to the increased controls by the German authorities, there may be congestion and waiting times when leaving the country for Germany. Depending on the volume of traffic, the situation could change again quickly, the statement added.

There were also some waiting times in Basel. On Tuesday morning, for example, eight of eleven trams on the cross-border tram line 8 from Basel to Weil am Rhein (D) were delayed. At the moment, customs controls at the Weil-Friedlingen border crossing are somewhat more noticeable, said a spokesperson for the Basel transport company (BVB) upon request. However, this was a snapshot and could change again at any time.

Combating “smuggling” crime

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) had announced stationary controls at the borders to Poland, the Czech Republic and Switzerland on Monday. The border controls may be extended up to a total of two months.

Faeser justified her decision, which will initially be effective for ten days at the newly informed border sections, with the limitation of irregular migration. Furthermore, Faeser said that this measure was about “combating smuggling of migrants even more strongly”. From the beginning of January to the beginning of October, the German police detected about 98,000 unauthorised entries into Germany, according to the Ministry of the Interior.

Faeser stressed that it was particularly important to her “that the controls have as little impact as possible on the daily lives of commuters, on trade and on travel”. According to the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), she also confirmed this in a telephone conversation with Federal Councillor Elisabeth Baume-Schneider (SP). The head of the Federal Department of Justice and Police, for her part, reminded her counterpart “of the close ties between the border regions”, as the SEM wrote in response to a request from the Keystone-SDA news agency.

Control with Austria extended

The Prime Minister of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann, welcomed the introduction of controls at the German border with Switzerland. “This is a building block that is part of it,” said the Green politician in Stuttgart on Tuesday.

Since the refugee crisis of 2015/2016, stationary controls in Germany have only been carried out at the borders with Austria. According to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, they will now be extended again. According to the EU Commission, the controls with Austria will continue to apply until 11 May next year.

©Keystone/SDA

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