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In an interview with Der Spiegel, German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich announced that his country intends to veto Romanian and Bulgarian accession to the Schengen Area at the next Justice and Home Affairs Council meeting on March 7.

Berlin has explained that its decision is justified by the level of corruption in both countries, while Bucharest insists that it has fulfilled all of the criteria to join the European free-movement area.

Romanian Foreign Minister Titus Corlățean declared that postponing accession would “remove credibility from the process,” and added that his country would “no longer be interested”.