The Latest: Poland to continue upgrading border surveillance

AP News
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Posted: Dec 07, 2015 10:02 AM
The Latest: Poland to continue upgrading border surveillance

BERLIN (AP) — The latest developments as tens of thousands of people make their way to Europe and across the continent, seeking safety and a better life. All times local.

4 p.m.

A Polish official says that the country will continue to upgrade surveillance methods to prevent an influx of migrants.

Border guards spokeswoman Agnieszka Golias said Monday that a system of watchtowers is being developed, and that hundreds of personnel could be quickly added to around 8,000 guards patrolling Poland's borders.

Golias also said that state-of-the art surveillance planes, drones, night vision equipment and SUVs were bought in recent years to help patrol the borders.

Polish border authorities believe that a new migrant wave may begin in the spring.

Golias told The Associated Press that "the situation in Europe is showing us how to streamline our efforts to be more effective."

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3:35 p.m.

Austria has started building a fence that will stretch along a small part of the border with Slovenia.

Officials say the less than 4-kilometer (2.4-mile) barrier on both sides of the Spielfeld crossing point south of the city of Graz is not meant to prevent migrants from entering Austria, but instead to regulate their crossing.

Work on the chain-link fence began Monday, with completion planned by Christmas.

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1:50 p.m.

Germany's interior minister says the number of migrants arriving in the country has declined significantly over the past week or two.

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said Monday refugees and other migrants have been arriving at a pace of 2,000 to 3,000 a day in recent days, down from the 8,000 to 10,000 who often arrived daily over recent months.

He said the cause isn't entirely clear but pointed to bad weather in the Mediterranean that has deterred people from crossing from Turkey to Greece, and efforts by Turkey to stop people leaving by sea.

He said that "this isn't yet a turnaround, but it is a good development." De Maiziere's comments came after he announced that 965,000 people were registered in Germany as asylum-seekers from January to November.

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1:15 p.m.

Germany's interior minister says that 965,000 people were registered as asylum-seekers in the country from January through the end of November.

The figure given by Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere on Monday puts the total number of new arrivals this year above the total of 800,000 he forecast for 2015 in August. He said he won't give a new full-year forecast.

De Maiziere said the actual number of new arrivals through the end of November is below 965,000 because of people who registered more than once or continued to other countries, but he can't say how much lower.