The president of Croatia had strong words for Angela Merkel on the eve of the European Union’s latest talking exercise on migration, likening the effect of German policy to a traffic accident.
Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, the first female president of Croatia, referred to Germany’s hot-then-cold approach to migration in her caustic remarks on Monday night. Back in August Germany flung its doors open to all Syrians who might come, and then spectacularly unilaterally suspended the European Union (EU) freedom of movement rules to shut their own borders after they found it too much to handle.
Senior German police officers complained “Almost without exception, every refugee pretends to be a Syrian when in fact, many come from other countries, even from sub-Saharan Africa”, as reported by Breitbart London last week, an observation which caused Grabar-Kitarović to wonder how they could possibly have not foreseen it as a side effect of their policy. Speaking to Croatian television, Grabar-Kitarović said: “Germany has said they can’t absorb all these economic migrants, and have pulled the handbrake.
“Mrs. Merkel has acted as if she had not been aware that pulling the handbrake with so many cars on the road will cause a mess. This needs to be resolved now”, reports Der Spiegel.
It is unusual for European leaders to refer to each other directly in such harsh terms, a fact that has not gone unnoticed even in Croatia. Prime minister Zoran Milanović has hit back at his own president’s words this afternoon, remarking that the comments had created a “diplomatic incident”, and that such a public “slapping” down, as President Grabar-Kitarović gave Chancellor Merkel yesterday “is not very common”.
Giving her a slapping down of her own, Milanović said high profile leaders should “speak about each other with much more tact. Even when they disagree”, reports Croatian newspaper Jutarnji List. The left-leaning paper took the time to criticise Grabar-Kitarović for commenting on the mistakes of Merkel’s inconsistent attitude to migration, but not to Hungary’s Viktor Orban, the “builder of walls and fan of barbed wire”.
Despite the strong words of the Prime Minister and the clear feeling of Jutarnji List, Croatia’s foreign minister appears keen to get in on the Orban act, declaring the nation would take “all the measures necessary” to protect themselves, and was ready to close their border with Serbia. Croatian news portal Max reports minister Ranko Ostojic’s comments today when he said: “Croatia will, in the interest of the Croatians take all the measures necessary”.
He said closing the border was the government’s “plan B reaction to a nonexistent plan A”.
Other European foreign ministers are meeting in Brussels today and tomorrow to try and hammer out a plan to share migrants across the continent through a system of arbitrary quotas. Although popular in nations already hard hit by migration like Greece and Germany, Eastern European nations not keen to see their nations flooded with unwanted foreigners are proving truculent and are set to vote against any such agreement. The Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Latvia, Estonia, and Poland are among the trouble-makers. This is despite former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk chairing the EU meetings in Brussels, and writing to leaders that “It is essential to establish a credible migration policy”.
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