September 14, 2015 / 2:48 PM / 4 years ago

Dutch impose spot border checks in response to asylum seeker surge

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch police will carry out spot border checks in response to a surge in asylum seekers into the European Union, the Ministry for Justice said on Monday.

The two-decade-old era of border-free travel in Europe was unraveling as countries imposed controls on their frontiers in response to an unprecedented influx of migrants.

Germany’s surprise decision to restore border controls on Sunday had a domino effect, forcing neighbors to shut their own frontiers as thousands of refugees pressed north and west across the continent.

“We will increase mobile controls in the border regions,” spokeswoman Yvonne Wiggers said, citing a decision by Junior Minister for Security and Justice, Klaas Dijkhoff.

The measures were expected to be implemented immediately.

Dutch reception centers are filling up quickly and are expected to reach full capacity this month. About 3,000 asylum seekers entered the Netherlands last week, twice the number from the previous week, the immigration service said.

Under a European Commission quota system, the Netherlands is expected to take in 9,000 asylum seekers, mostly from the Middle East and North Africa.

A record of more than 430,000 refugees and migrants have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe in 2015, more than double the total for the whole of last year, the International Organization for Migration said..

Reporting by Yoruk Bahceli; Writing by Anthony Deutsch; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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