Berlin (Reuters) – The federal government, the federal states and the French government will discuss on Tuesday how border controls or even closings of border crossings on the German-French border can be prevented.
The Prime Ministers of Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate, Tobias Hans (CDU) and Malu Dreyer (SPD), had declared that they wanted to prevent German border controls such as those to the Czech Republic and Tyrol.
The background to the debate is the detection of the virus variant found in South Africa in the French region of Moselle near the border and concerns about spreading to Germany.
Government spokesman Steffen Seibert announced “very timely” talks on Monday. In government circles in Berlin it was said that they wanted to avoid border controls with France like 2020, also because this would have negative political symbolism. On the German side, however, complaints are being made that decisions in the French border region are being made too centralistically in Paris, making cross-border agreements to contain the corona pandemic at local or regional level difficult.
The Saarland Government announced the establishment of a task force in which, among other things, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn, whose French colleague Olivier Véran, Hans Dreyer and Minister of State Michael Roth, Foreign Office and his French counterpart, Secretary of State for European Affairs Clément Beaune, as well as regional representatives from the greater region are represented.
Last year, Baden-Württemberg, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland closed for fear of the corona virus spreading. North Rhine-Westphalia’s Prime Minister Armin Laschet had rejected such plans by Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer for the border with the Netherlands and Belgium at the time.