While Germany’s Angela Merkel still seems to be denying it in public, her allies in the ruling government coalition are indicating that the days of open borders and a carte blanche welcome for Syrian and Iraqi migrants seem to be coming to a close amid rising protests from her citizens. The Chancellor’s CDU party may not be altering its official footing on the subject, but her allies in the Bavarian CSU party claim that the policy has essentially failed and sterner measures will be required to deal with the fallout from the flood of new arrivals. (Yahoo News)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government has done an about-turn on its refugee policy and has gradually shifted away from its welcoming culture, the leader of her Bavarian allies told a newspaper.
Merkel opened Germany’s borders to refugees last summer and at that time Germans applauded newcomers arriving at the train station in Munich but, as the mood toward migrants has shifted, she has stressed that the number coming needs to be reduced.
“The federal government has completely changed its refugee policy, even if it does not admit that,” Horst Seehofer, leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian sister party to Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), told Bild am Sonntag.
This doesn’t seem to be news which just popped up overnight and the word has spread to those in the affected regions who may have been considering a midnight crossing from Turkey. Some of the most popular spots for departure by human smugglers were reported to be quiet and essentially empty this weekend.
Nearly every night over the past year, men, women and children have used the cover of darkness to scramble into small inflatable boats and set off into an uncertain future.
On Friday, around 500 Syrians left from the beach being scanned by the radar van. Yet 24 hours later no-one turned up.
A nearby dirt track showed traces of hasty departures: life jackets hanging in bushes, dozens of pumps to inflate rubber dinghies, nappies, children’s cough medicine, lost shoes, a green toy frog.
Further south, another key departure spot, Cesme, was also calm in the hours before and after the migrant accord came into force.
Turkish patrols have been beefed up in volume and frequency, potentially deterring additional migrants. For those who do show up, the Turks have been rounding them up in large numbers. They reported 210 people captured in four boats heading for Lesbos on Saturday alone, with the migrants being held on ships without food or water for several hours before being sent back home. The word seems to be getting around that enforcement at the borders isn’t turning a blind eye anymore.
This was inevitable as far as I’m concerned. The idea that a borderless European Union could continue to accept an endless flood of people who traditionally haven’t done much in the way of assimilating into their new culture and drained limited resources was a fantasy. The voters in multiple nations began to revolt fairly early on and the flood of headlines about rising crime and associated frictions have turned the issue into a fifth rail for European politicians. The only remaining questions would appear to be what they plan on doing with all the people who already arrived and how they will create conditions which will inspire them to go home. The EU may be forced to help us out with bringing Syria back under control in an effort to save themselves.
That would be a refreshing change, though I’m not holding my breath over it. If Syria continues to collapse into a failed state, somebody is going to have to deal with this sooner or later.