German Chancellor Angela Merkel seems oblivious to the fact that what you reward you get more of. Witness the tens of thousands of welfare seekers cloaked as genuine migrants flooding Europe and now threatening the collapse of the borderless EU she has always proudly trumpeted.
They are coming because Merkel said they should. Germany would welcome them all – and then some – in an act of charity she barely thought through and hardly understood the consequences of.
Remember back in August the chancellor declared all Syrian asylum-seekers welcome to remain in Germany, no matter which EU country they had first set foot on. In doing so Germany set itself up to accept an extraordinary 800,000 migrants before the end of the year. It also became the first EU country to suspend the 1990 Dublin protocol which forces refugees to seek asylum in the first European country they set foot on.
So what had been a sustained flow became a flood. The human tide bound for Germany increased so quickly that Germany re-imposed border controls on Sunday after Europe’s most powerful nation acknowledged it could scarcely cope with thousands of asylum seekers arriving every day.
Those few extra thousands are nothing compared to the hundreds of thousands on their way to take advantage of Merkel’s promise to take one and all. How on earth is Germany going to cope with what lies ahead, let alone the country’s smaller and less economically stable neighbours also staggering under the sheer weight of human traffic.
Already the EU has joined Germany in calling for some form of quota system to ensure Merkel’s open house really means Europe in its entirety will bear the load. Not that everyone is happy with that.
“We are helping, we are ready to help, but on a voluntary basis,” Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said on Sunday. “The quotas won’t work.”
In neighbouring Slovakia, Interior Minister Robert Kalinak said he would try to block quotas. “They don’t make any sense … and don’t solve the crisis in any way,” he said in a TV interview.
Poland said it might accept more migrants, but only if the EU secures its external borders and separates those who need help from economic migrants. Warsaw wants a say in screening them from the point of security.
In Hungary a wall separating the country from neighbouring Serbia will be finished this week with troops being sent to help reinforce the notion that the open border is no more.
Europe is in disarray and Angela Merkel has to be held accountable. The fact that Germany has hurriedly re-imposed border controls along its southern Austrian frontier shows she has failed to understand that actions have consequences – not all of them intended.
UPDATE: Germany now expects one million migrants this year. More at the Associated Press
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