Germany announced today that it was introducing temporary border checks on the Austrian frontier in a bid to limit the influx of refugees, and cross-border train services from Austria were suspended. Germany and Austria agreed over a week ago to let in migrants who had gathered in Hungary, saying it was a one-time measure to ease an emergency. The influx has continued and, while Germans have remained welcoming, officials said over the weekend that the speed of the arrivals was straining the country's ability to provide accommodation. "This step has become necessary," Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere tells reporters in Berlin. "The great readiness to help that Germany has shown in recent weeks ... must not be overstretched."
Germany has called, so far with little success, for other countries in the 28-nation European Union to share the burden of taking in people seeking refuge. De Maiziere didn't specify how long the border controls would remain in place or give details of exactly how incoming migrants would be handled. He said there could be disruption to rail travel. Most migrants have been arriving by train. Meanwhile, the Czechs are deploying more police to the Austrian-Czech border in response to Germany's decision to renew border controls, the AP reports. And the UN refugee agency says border control measures announced by European countries underline the urgency of "a comprehensive European response" to the migrant crisis. (Read more refugees stories.)