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  1. ITV Report

Germany's warm welcome for refugees and migrants begins to cool

  • Full video report by ITV News Europe Editor James Mates

Germany's warm welcome for refugees appears to have grown colder in the wake of a string of New Year's Eve sex attacks and robberies in Cologne.

At the Austrian border, ITV News witnessed strict checks, queues and the sight of refugees and migrants being turned away which has replaced the open arms greeting seen in the summer.

Strict checks are in place at the Austrian border. Credit: ITV News

Last September, Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed refugees and migrants, telling her country: "We can do this".

Now she has called for tougher laws on their regulation after a string of New Year's Eve sex attacks and robberies in Cologne which have been linked to asylum seekers.

In the wake of this, refugees arriving at the border today are no longer guaranteed entry to Germany.

Refugees arriving at the border today are no longer guaranteed entry to Germany. Credit: ITV News

Long-standing European rules that Merkel effectively suspended in the summer are now once again being enforced.

Refugees and migrants are processed, searched and fingerprinted.

Arrivals are now fingerprinted at the the Austrian border. Credit: ITV News

Those seeking asylum in Germany stand a chance of succeeding, but those wanting to travel on to other EU countries face greater scrutiny and being sent back across the Austrian border.

In Munich, one refugee who ITV News has followed since he arrived in June can sense the change and is worried.

Mohammed told ITV News' Europe Editor James Mates all refugees and migrants are being seen in a bad light in wake of the New Year attacks.

"That's really hard for us to handle," he said.