Monday, 14 September 2015

Merkel the Siren


I loved this Spectator blog cartoon of Merkel as a Siren luring poor sailors onto the rocks of Scylla or Charybdis at the straits of Messina betwen Sicily and Italy. A real BoJo job one might say!

Click below to read the full piece<

I quote Reuters report below  :

The two-decade-old era of border-free travel in Europe was unravelling on Monday 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 swift domino effect, forcing neighbours to shut their own frontiers as thousands of refugees pressed north and west across the continent.
Austria dispatched its military to guard its frontier with Hungary after thousands of migrants crossed the border on foot overnight, filling up temporary accommodation space in tents and railway station car parks.
"If Germany carries out border controls, Austria must put strengthened border controls in place," Vice Chancellor Reinhold Mitterlehner told a joint news conference with Chancellor Werner Faymann. "We are doing that now."
He and Faymann said the army would be deployed in a supporting role.
"The focus of the support is on humanitarian help," Faymann said. "But it is also, and I would like to emphasise this, on supporting border controls where it is necessary."
Slovakia said it too would shut its own borders with Austria and Hungary.
The measures were the biggest threat to the Schengen system, which since 1995 eliminated frontier posts across Europe and ranks alongside the euro single currency as one of the transformative achievements of integration on the continent.
The 26 European countries in the Schengen area issue common visas and leave the borders between them unguarded. Frontiers which were fought over for centuries and which choked off traffic and trade just a few years ago, are now marked by little more than signposts on highways across the world's biggest economic bloc.
But the rules still bar undocumented migrants from travel within the zone, while leaving few mechanisms to stop them.
That has created chaos as hundreds of thousands of people, including refugees from war in the Middle East, arrive on the bloc's southern and eastern edges and head to richer and more welcoming countries further north and west to seek asylum.
European interior ministers were holding crisis talks, with Germany, France and the bloc's executive Commission trying to overcome opposition from eastern members to a plan to relocate 160,000 refugees from Italy, Hungary and Greece.
Poland said it was prepared to impose controls if migrants aimed for its frontier in large numbers, and any EU decision to impose quotas for accepting refugees on member states without their agreement would lead to institutional crisis.
"We will accept only as many refugees as we can afford, not a single one more or less," said Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz.

A draft agreement would also include strong language on the need for tighter controls of the bloc's external borders, rapid screening of arrivals and deportation of those without valid asylum claims, to help assuage countries concerned that relocating asylum seekers could attract more people.

The Spectator blog puts it thus

"Having, effectively, unilaterally ripped up the EU agreement on how to handle refugees, Germany is now desperately trying to re-impose the rules. At the start of this month, Angela Merkel’s government declared that any Syrian who could reach the country could claim asylum in Germany. This was contrary to the Dublin Convention of 1990 which set out that refugees should seek asylum in the first EU member state that they arrive in.
Predictably, Germany’s actions led to a huge surge in the number of refugees trying to reach the country. The volume of people coming is now so great that Berlin has had to put in place controls on the Austrian border. It is also saying that it won’t accept refugees who have been fingerprinted or admitted in another EU state. In other words, it wants the Dublin Convention to apply once more.

This U-turn reveals how ill thought through Merkel’s policy on refugees was. But the problem is Merkel can’t unsay what she said. Her words and actions in the past few weeks will lead to more people putting their lives in the hands of unscrupulous people traffickers. The tragic consequence of this is that more lives will be lost.
Statesmanship involves the ability to think through the consequences of your actions. Merkel has spectacularly failed that test in her handling of the refugee crisis. She has made a dire situation even worse."
Yes indeed. There is no situation that the colleagues cannot make worse.
I noticed the BBC's Daily Politics , today 14th Sept 2015 did not consider it worth including. They do not report EU cock ups as it does not fit their EU phile agenda.  

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