It’s a Happy New Year in Europe, where the blowback from last summer’s “refugee” crisis is already hitting the old continent hard. People have been killed and liberal ideals shattered, all because naifs like Angela Merkel preferred her fantasy version of Islam to the real, murderous, expansionist thing.
When the small, crumpled body of 3-year-old Alan Kurdi washed up on the Aegean coast Sept. 2, Europe’s humanitarian superpower sprang into action. Sweden’s prime minister headlined gala fundraisers, Swedish celebrities starred in telethons, and a country that prides itself on doing the right thing seemed to rally as one to embrace refugees fleeing for their lives.
But after taking in more asylum seekers per capita than any other nation in Europe, Sweden’s welcome mat now lies in tatters. Overwhelmed by the human tide of 2015, the center-left government is deploying extraordinary new border controls and slashing benefits in an unmistakable signal to refugees contemplating the long trek to Sweden in the new year: Stay out.
“We’re willing to do more than anyone else,” said Swedish Migration Minister Morgan Johansson. “But even we have our limits.”
Sweden has been hell-bent on replacing its native population of real Swedes with “Swedes” — foreigners with Swedish passports from Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans, most often Muslims, in an effort to prove… what, exactly? Now, it seems, those limits have been reached.
The country’s dramatic shift threatens to wreak havoc all the way down Europe’s migrant trail in 2016 by setting off a domino effect in which countries seal their borders for fear that their neighbors will do the same.
Barriers have already risen across the continent, primarily in the transit nations for migrants traveling by land into wealthy Western Europe. Hungary lined its borders with razor wire, forcing this autumn’s unparalleled streams of humanity farther west into Croatia and Slovenia. In November, Macedonia introduced strict controls meant to filter out new arrivals from countries other than Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. The policy has left thousands of people stranded in Greece.
But Sweden’s abrupt reversal is potentially far more consequential. Across Europe this year, two countries have stood out for their uncommonly generous reception policies: Sweden and Germany.
Now, Sweden is actively trying to keep people out, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel is under pressure from critics within her own center-right coalition to do the same after the country welcomed a record 1 million asylum seekers this year. During her Christian Democratic Party conference in December, she bowed to those critics, at least in part, saying that Germany needed to “palpably reduce” its refugee numbers.
German police are hunting seven suspected suicide bombers who planned to blow themselves up in Munich train stations during the New Year’s Eve celebrations, it has been reported. French and US intelligence agencies are said to have given Germany the names of the seven suspects, thought to be from Iraq and Syria, and Munich police believe they may be linked to ISIS.
Police evacuated two Munich stations at around midnight after they were tipped off about a ‘serious, imminent threat’. They both reopened early this morning. German police lifted the alert this morning, saying there was no longer a risk of an immediate attack, but armed police remained at Munich stations.
“The situation has eased a bit again,” said Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann. Munich’s main station and Pasing station reopened in the morning. He said the temporary closure had been necessary because the intelligence service had got a “specific” warning. That warning spoke of a threat from Islamic State (IS) suicide bombers.
Police say they are looking for “five to seven” suspects, believed to be Iraqis and Syrians.
But the state of alert now is “as it was before last night”, Mr Herrmann told the Bavarian state broadcaster BR. He added that Europe was facing “a general, permanent terror threat.”
It’s easy to get murdered when you’re already trying to commit suicide.