Border bother

 作者:张铲     |      日期:2019-03-02 05:06:03
Next week, border controls are due to be dropped between seven European countries. But the computer that is supposed to pool police records among the countries is not ready, so controls are likely to remain in place for some time. The Schengen treaty, signed in 1990, called for the abolition of border controls between the Benelux countries, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece by December 1993. Under the treaty, people will have their passports checked on first entering a Schengen country. After that, they will be able to travel freely between Schengen countries. For the system to work, border police at each entry point into Schengen countries need access to police records from every Schengen state. In 1990 the French computer firm Bull and the German firm Siemens were commissioned to develop a computer that would store all the records. Greece and Italy are not yet ready, and still have to computerise their records. Nor, however, is the computer. According to Walter van der Ryd of the Schengen secretariat, the main problem is that the computer, which is in Strasbourg, is simply too slow. ‘When we ask it to check someone, it might say it can’t, because it is already handling five requests. It is supposed to be able to handle thousands of requests at a time.’ A ‘crisis committee’ of software experts told Schengen governments this week that the problems with the computer can be solved,