In an interview broadcast on German radio station Deutschlandfunk on Sunday evening, Chancellor Angela Merkel said that while the refugee crisis was a “very big task,” Germany would be able to cope. During the “Interview of the Week,” Merkel said that asylum procedures needed to be sped up and that borders should be better protected. The chancellor also said it was essential to deal with the reasons people were fleeing at the source, and ensure that refugees were fairly distributed around Europe.
Building fences along borders was “pointless,” Merkel said, as refugees would find another way of entering Europe. “I don’t think that fences help. We saw that in Hungary,” she added.
Ochsenscheiss. I just returned from a week in Hungary and one thing that’s immediately apparent is that fences do work. The masses teeming around the central train station in Budapest are gone, and now the Hungarians simply detain the “migrants” at the border, bundle them onto buses and trains and ship them straight to Austria and onward to Germany. Frau Merkel is getting exactly what she asked for.
Top-selling German newspaper “Bild” on Monday reported that as many as 1.5 million asylum seekers could arrive in the country this year. The paper cited an “internal prognosis” that it said was classified as secret, without providing further details. The paper reported a likely rate of between 6,000 and 10,000 “illegal border crossings” per day in the fourth quarter of the year.
Wolfgang Schäuble, Merkel’s finance minister, said in an interview with broadcaster ZDF on Sunday that Europe needed to restrict the number of people coming to the continent. “We need to limit the influx to Europe,” he said. “We can’t manage this task at a national level anymore.”
“The EU will do that very quickly now, above all with Turkey,” Schäuble added. The “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung” and public broadcaster ARD reported on Sunday that the European Commission and the Turkish government had tentatively agreed to set up six new refugee camps for up to 2 million people, along with increased Greek-Turkish border patrols. On Saturday, Bavarian State Premier Horst Seehofer also criticized the refugee policy, calling Merkel’s handling of the crisis a mistake.
Meanwhile, ugliness is starting to rear its head:
The political statements came as right-wing activists with the anti-Islam PEGIDA group gathered to form what they called a “living border” against refugees coming into Germany. The demonstration on Sunday attracted 2,500 people in the town of Sebnitz, on the border with the Czech Republic.
On Saturday, around 1,000 people turned out for a “march of silence” in the city of Chemnitz to protest plans to adapt a former military base in the east of the country into housing for refugees. In the town of Görlitz on Saturday, a further 1,000 anti-immigrant protesters marched behind the slogan of “Görlitz defends itself” while 500 people held a rally with the opposite sentiment: “Görlitz cosmopolitan.”
Sebnitz, Chemnitz and Görlitz are all located in the old East Germany; those people have already had a bellyful of living under an alien, totalitarian regime and know exactly what’s coming if Merkel’s madness isn’t stopped. And so apparently do the Viennese:
Austria’s far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ) has drawn nearly even with the ruling Social Democrats (SPÖ) in Vienna ahead of October 11 elections in the capital city state, according to a poll published Saturday. According to the survey, the FPÖ would win some 35 percent of the vote, just one point short of the SPÖ, which has controlled the Austrian capital since 1945.
The FPÖ, led by 46-year-old Heinz-Christian Strache, has gained steadily in the polls since the spring, thanks in part to the migrant crisis, like other far-right parties across Europe. In recent months Austria has become a major transit country for tens of thousands of migrants entering from Hungary — having travelled up through the western Balkans — bound for northern Europe, in particular Germany.