In Brief: Interior Minister Seehofer instructs police to increase random checks at Germany’s borders

The interior ministry said the aim of the increased border checks is to combat what’s known as “secondary migration,” or when non-EU individuals move illegally between EU member states. In other news, the first hearing began on Monday in a mass class action lawsuit against Volkswagen.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

 

 

Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has instructed federal police officers to increase random checks at Germany’s borders.

The interior ministry said in a tweet the aim is to combat what’s known as “secondary migration,” or when non-EU individuals move illegally between EU member states.

Already last week, Seehofer announced controls at the Austrian-German border would be extended until spring 2020, citing 6,800 unauthorized entries there since the beginning of 2019.

Lawmakers in both The Greens and the SPD have criticized this move by Seehofer.

Green politician Irene Mihalic told the newspapers of the Redaktionsnetzwerks Deutschland that it was a “dangerous anti-European signal, while deputy SPD parliamentary leader Eva Högl said open borders in Europe were a great asset.

Högl added the better way to address border security would be coordinating with European partners to reach a common approach.

***

The first hearing began on Monday in a mass class action lawsuit against Volkswagen.

The Federation of German Consumer Organizations (in German, Der Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband or vzbv) is suing on behalf of around 470,000 customers who are demanding compensation because they said they were misled by the manufacturer about diesel emissions.

Volkswagen lawyer Martina de Lind van Wijngaarden told the broadcaster Welt that they believe there is no damage nor reason for the complaint.

“Even today, the vehicles are still driven hundreds of thousands of times by customers,” she said.

Experts say this will be a lengthy battle in court. If the judge ultimately rules in favor of the plaintiffs, they will have to file for damages individually to see any compensation.

***

The number of people unemployed here in Berlin dropped in September.

Germany’s Federal Employment Agency reported about 152,000 people were unemployed. That’s about 4,000 fewer people than in August.

Agency head Bernd Becking called the labor market in Berlin stable and robust.

 

 

By the way – If you love our content, please consider donating to KCRW Berlin. We are a listener-funded public radio station, driven by supporters like you. Your donation supports our programming and events, feeding a flourishing English language community with local news, information and ideas.