Germany mulls border checks for World Cup

25th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

25 January 2005 , BERLIN - Germany is to consider suspending a European agreement abolishing internal border controls before and during the 2006 World Cup, Interior Minister Otto Schily has told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa. Schily said the government might impose regular border security checks for a period to coincide with the tournament from 9 June to 9 July next year. Germany is party to the Schengen Treaty in which internal border checks have been abolished in all pre-enlargement European Union member s

25 January 2005

BERLIN - Germany is to consider suspending a European agreement abolishing internal border controls before and during the 2006 World Cup, Interior Minister Otto Schily has told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa.

Schily said the government might impose regular border security checks for a period to coincide with the tournament from 9 June to 9 July next year.

Germany is party to the Schengen Treaty in which internal border checks have been abolished in all pre-enlargement European Union member states except for Britain and Ireland. The Schengen area also includes non-EU members Norway and Iceland.

Schily said security authorities would be braced for all potential danger before and during the World Cup.

"We will be watching very closely who is coming to our country for the World Cup," he said.

"Whether we again temporarily introduce regular border controls on the Schengen internal borders for the World Cup is something we will decide at the appropriate time based on the security situation. It is possible."

Security is a major priority for World Cup organisers who expect one million foreign football fans visiting Germany for the tournament being played in 12 cities.

Schily said it was important on the security issue that national, regional and local authorities had clearly defined areas of responsibility.

Germany's preparations for the World Cup are meanwhile fully on schedule and it is "wonderful" to see how the country is already gearing up for the tournament, Schily said.

The government had already launched a cultural programme unprecedented for a World Cup finals, and was planning a joint campaign with the country's industry to show Germany at its best.

"We not only want to present ourselves as world champions in organisation and preparation. We want to demonstrate that we are a modern, cosmopolitan, cheerful and strong country, and show what we are capable of," he added.

DPA

Subject: German news 

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