Police protest at cutbacks along border with Poland
22 November 2007, Frankfurt an der Oder - Some 250 German policemen demonstrated near the Polish border on Thursday against cutbacks when frontier posts are dismantled next month.
22 November 2007
Frankfurt an der Oder - Some 250 German policemen demonstrated near the Polish border on Thursday against cutbacks when frontier posts are dismantled next month.
"Yes to Europe, No to hasty reforms," read banners carried by the policemen on their march from the border to the venue of a meeting attended by German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.
The protest, organized police unions, is directed at reforms that envisage manpower cuts when the borders with Poland and the Czech Republic are completely opened on December 21.
On that day, eight former Communist nations in Eastern Europe plus Malta are set to join the European Union's Schengen system, which does away with internal passport controls.
Schaeuble said earlier in the day that the scrapping of passport checks at land and sea borders would not diminish security for Germans living close to the border.
Other security checks would be introduced, he said after a meeting with his Polish counterpart Grzegorz Schetyna in the north-east German town of Heringsdorf near the border with Poland.
"Stationary border control points would be replaced by a mobile system of monitoring the border area, which is not expected to lead to a loss of security," the minister said.
He said a new centre with 100 German and Polish customs and security officials would be established at Swiecko, across the border from Frankfurt an der Oder, when the new arrangement comes into force.
Many Germans in the border region have expressed fears that opening the borders could lead to an influx of petty criminal such as shoplifters, burglars and car thieves.
Subject: Germany news