Berlin (AFP) – German authorities warned Sunday they were stretched to capacity to welcome refugees arriving en masse, as Europe scrambled to hold emergency talks on the unprecedented crisis….Germany has become the destination of choice for many refugees, particularly for Syrians after Chancellor Angela Merkel decided to relax asylum rules for citizens of the war-torn country.
However, with some 450,000 people arriving in Europe’s biggest economy so far this year, local authorities are buckling under the sudden surge. “Given the numbers from yesterday, it is very clear that we have reached the upper limit of our capacity,” said a Munich police spokesman.
Federal transport minister Alexander Dobrindt also weighed in, saying “effective measures are necessary now to stop the influx”. “That includes help for countries from where refugees are fleeing and also includes an effective control of our own borders which also no longer works given the EU’s complete failure to protect its external borders,” he said in a statement.
Dobrindt was essentially referring to the border between Turkey and Greece, where many migrants have crossed.
But not apparently to Hungary, which is condemned by the EU’s elites for trying to protect its borders.
And now this, just in from the BBC:
Germany is to reintroduce some form of controls on its border with Germany to cope with the influx of migrants, German and Austrian media report. It is not clear what measures would be introduced. More than 13,000 migrants arrived into Munich alone on Saturday. Germany’s vice-chancellor said the country was “at the limit of its capabilities”.
Germany’s Bild newspaper and Austria’s Kronen Zeitung said controls would be in place on the Bavaria-Austria border.
If confirmed that would represent a temporary suspension of “Schengen”, the arrangement under which the EU scrapped most internal border controls, a bad idea then, a worse idea now. It should be scrapped, not suspended.
And some relevant thoughts from Peggy Noonan, writing in the Wall Street Journal a day or so ago:
….But in this crisis talk of “the elites” is pertinent. The gap between those who run governments and those who are governed has now grown huge and portends nothing good.
Rules on immigration and refugees are made by safe people. These are the people who help run countries, who have nice homes in nice neighborhoods and are protected by their status. Those who live with the effects of immigration and asylum law are those who are less safe, who see a less beautiful face in it because they are daily confronted with a less beautiful reality—normal human roughness, human tensions. Decision-makers fear things like harsh words from the writers of editorials; normal human beings fear things like street crime. Decision-makers have the luxury of seeing life in the abstract. Normal people feel the implications of their decisions in the particular.
The decision-makers feel disdain for the anxieties of normal people, and ascribe them to small-minded bigotries, often religious and racial, and ignorant antagonisms. But normal people prize order because they can’t buy their way out of disorder.
Muslim radicals in Germany are trying to recruit some of the growing numbers of asylum seekers reaching the country, according to intelligence services quoted by the German news agency DPA. The Islamic extremists “are trying to approach the young unaccompanied refugees, who arrive in our country without their families and are particularly looking for contacts and support,” a spokesman for the intelligence service in the southern state of Bavaria told DPA.
He said many of the youths are approached around reception centres but also at Munich railway station where many of the asylum seekers have arrived from Hungary and Austria in recent days.
The Islamic extremists “want to take advantage of the insecurity and distress of the refugees,” he said.
On Tuesday, the intelligence services in North Rhine-Westphalia reported similar contacts in their region, noting that Islamic radicals were approaching asylum seekers through fake charities.
This wasn’t something that could have been predicted, of course.