Things continue to become more and more interesting in the European Union when it comes to questions of migrant policy, refugees and border security. Just this morning we saw how the United States was bailing out on one agreement cooked up by the United Nations which sought to force countries to abide by international agreements on this score. But some news broke on the other side of the pond over the past few days which seems to indicate that the backlash is spreading and other countries are falling in line behind Donald Trump’s example.
The first story comes from Germany, which shouldn’t be surprising since Angela Merkel is hanging on to her position as Chancellor by a thread right now, largely due to migration issues. The entire country hasn’t shifted course yet, but one city which had previously tried to embrace Merkel’s policies wholeheartedly has now yanked the welcome mat away from the door. According to the Daily Mail, the German town of Salzgitter has been essentially overrun by Muslim immigrants and refugees to the point where they are closing the gates.
[H]ere in Salzgitter, things are abruptly changing. It’s pro-refugee Mayor has declared a moratorium on any more foreigners coming to join the 5,800 who have already arrived.
He admitted a few weeks ago: ‘Right now, we are overwhelmed. We have received too many in too short a time. The locals are having fears for the future.’
Even the migrants living in Salzgitter, which sits on a lake in Lower Saxony, north-west Germany, agree there is a crisis.
‘Not everyone can come or there will be nowhere to sleep and no free chairs in the schools,’ says Khaled Rasti, a 32- year-old Syrian from Damascus, who with his wife Slivi, 30, is wheeling two-year-old Jodi — one of their three children — in a pushchair near the Christmas market.
The mayor is waving the white flag because his citizens are at wit’s end. One mother reported taking her daughter to the first day of school and finding that she was one of only two German children in a class of 20. The rest were children of mostly Syrian migrants. What’s worse, the migrants are not contributing to the economy and mostly wandering around town. The unemployment rate among the new arrivals is at more than 90% and the locals say there are virtually no jobs for them to take because they mostly lack the basic education and skills required for all but the most simple, lowest paying tasks.
This town is hardly unique. At that same time as Salzgitter is going through these contractions, the entire country of Romania is reportedly close to closing the borders.
Romania is using technology and extra border control agents to prevent Muslims from using Romania as an alternate destination after borders in Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic have been shut down to Muslim invaders.
A community in the Northwestern county of Satu Mare in Romania threatened to unleash violence if the Government proceeds with its partnership with an NGO to build a “refugees” centre for Muslims in their hometown.
Romanians protest construction of a mosque in Bucharest in 2016, and a year later it has yet to start. Romanian say “Our faith (Christian) and traditions have kept us united for thousands of years. We don’t even want to hear the idea of a mega-mosque in Bucharest. We won’t accept mandatory quotas of Muslim migrants. We haven’t forgotten what the Ottoman Turkish Muslim Empire did.”
There’s very little for Romania to fear in terms of these decisions. The EU has already shown itself to be toothless when it attempted to force Hungary to open up the floodgates and take some massive number of refugees. The country responded by building a barrier across its entire border and shutting down unauthorized migration entirely. When the EU complained, Hungary’s president responded by sending them a bill for part of the cost of the fencing.
Romania coming to this conclusion wouldn’t be much of a surprise, all things considered. The biggest domino to potentially fall would be Germany. That’s not happening thus far, at least on a national scale, but cracks in the open borders alliance are already showing. This is a subject where Merkel and Trump have come to rhetorical blows in the past. By the time we get very far into 2018 we may know who the winner was.