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Migrant Crisis
Germany Reinstates Passport Controls

Over the weekend, our own Adam Garfinkle wrote a must-read piece on Europe’s migrant crisis, in which he predicted that German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s welcoming embrace of refugees was sure to kick off a reactionary response sooner or later, with one of the likely knock-on effects being the end of the Schengen Zone of passport-free travel. Here’s Adam recounting a set of meetings he had on the continent:

I predicted that within five years Poland will be forced to erect passport control at airports for incoming European flights. (In case you are not aware, dear reader, there are none now. We flew from Berlin to Warsaw by way of Munich, and when one lands there is simply no passport control at all—meaning that any non-EU national who can get into Germany and pay for a ticket to get to Poland can indeed fly to Poland without anyone so much as asking his name or how long he intends to stay.) They all said I was wrong, but just a few days ago look what the Danes did: They basically sealed the border to rail and road traffic from Germany. And they were right to do it.

Well, sooner it is. With unused warehouses, sports arenas, and even Berlin’s iconic Tempelhof airport being converted into temporary camps for the sea of humanity flooding into Germany, Berlin yesterday announced it was instituting passport controls along its border with Austria after institutions in Bavaria began to buckle under the load of processing thousands of new arrivals.

The border closure is temporary and, as such, is technically legal under Schengen, but Germany’s Interior Minister refused to rule out other border closings in the near future. The move may force other countries to follow suit: Austria’s Foreign Minister said, “We have only one option and that is to act in concert with Germany.”

Merkel’s open door policy toward the migrants has earned plaudits from around the world but appears to have sown discord at home. The leader of the Bavarian CSU, which is in coalition with Merkel Christian Democratic Union, attacked the Chancellor in an interview on Friday, saying her decision was “a mistake that will keep us busy for a long time.” Privately, officials close to Merkel apparently concede that they did not anticipate that the Chancellor’s remarks would have such resonance and would encourage more migrants to try to get to Germany.

This all sets the stage for contentious meetings of EU Ambassadors slated for later today. A draft four-page memorandum of what the meeting is supposed to achieve has already leaked. Gone is the insistence that any migrant relocation program among the EU’s member states be mandatory; in its place is language about Europe being “committed” to sharing the burden. Also notable is the first mention of the creation of massive new internment camps for “irregular migrants”, to be set up in Italy and Greece.

Fortress Europe, here we come.

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  • Belisarius

    The Dissolution of Europe by Hans Rustad on Document

    Sorry to say, the dissolution has already started and Angela Merkel is in the lead togother with the moron Juncker.

  • jeburke

    Is Merkel crazy or stupid? “Privately, officials close to Merkel concede that they did not anticipate that the Chancellor’s remarks would have such resonance and would encourage more migrants to try to get to Germany.” That makes her and them the only people in the world who didn’t anticipate it. Indeed, looking ahead, if Germany does take in a million, as promised, it had better get ready for a second million.

    • f1b0nacc1

      To answer your question….both

      • Andrew Allison

        It was too good to last [grin]. In gaining de facto leadership of the EU Merkel has demonstrated that she’s neither. Germany has a demographic problem which refugees have the potential to solve and, unlike France, has considerable experience in dealing with Muslim Gastarbeiten (the majority of the refugees are young men). That said, it does appear that she and, notably, Junker (who from the safety of the European Commission, which doesn’t have to pay the costs) is pushing member states to accept increased numbers) failed to recognize the inevitable result of an open door policy.

        • f1b0nacc1

          Germany’s demographic problem is severe, but they also have some ugly issues with gastarbeiten (one of my earliest memories of Germany is having a friend’s parents – who were third-generation germans – referred to as ‘Turks’, because their ancestors were from Egypt) and those aren’t going to go away anytime soon. Europe’s problem with immigrants is structural and deep-seated, Germany has more experience with it, but I don’t see any real indication that they are any better at handling it than other European states, with the possible exception of France, which is world-class bad at this. To make matters worse, the current generation of migrants aren’t family men like the previous waves, they are typically single males without families at home, precisely the sort that are most dangerous to import in large numbers.
          I suspect that Merkel is a talented politician who is simply in over her head here. She wants to import cheap labor to satisfy her corporatist sponsors, and sees this as a chance to do it on the cheap, but doesn’t seem to have any grasp upon the consequences of what she is proposing.

    • johngbarker

      I keep on thinking that I am in a dream and Merkel and her entourage never said such things. This is very big and very terrible for us and the Europeans (somehow we will get drawn into the mess).

  • Anthony

    “As thousands of refugees pour into Europe to escape the horrors of war….” Another view:

    • CapitalHawk

      “The phrase “As thousands of refugees pour into Europe to escape the horrors of war” is a lie. They are not pouring into Europe to escape the horrors of war. They have long before escaped the horrors of war before they enter Europe because, the last I checked, there isn’t some massive war in Turkey or Jordan, which is where the vast majority of the refugees are.

      No, they are going there because they are attracted to the rich benefits being offered them by the northern European states, like Germany and Sweden.

      Those refugees who die crossing from Turkey to Greece (and from Libya to Italy and Morocco to Spain) are dying because the Germans et al. are luring them to their death with their promises of cash payments upon arrival.

      • Anthony

        I didn’t write the phrase or write the article – I shared another point of view.

        • CapitalHawk

          I know, I wasn’t really directing that at you.

          • Anthony


  • Beauceron

    “Angela Merkel’s open door policy towards migrants has had unanticipated consequences for Berlin”
    Unanticipated? I think they have had the consequences thousands, millions, of people have been warning about for years…and they are just beginning.

  • johngbarker

    Camps? What about a two-state solution?

  • Notjack

    For them saying what they think is the right thing is the same as doing the right thing.

  • CapitalHawk

    Camp of the Saints

  • megapotamus

    Once you admit that humans have a tropic response to economic incentives, you must cease to be socialist. Can’t have that. Forward.

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