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I suspect if you have been living in Aleppo Belfast would feel like a haven of tranquillity...  However for all the talk of mass immigration the UK Government have let in almost no refugees.  For that reason alone, I hope post Brexit UK rots in hell. Say what you like about Merkel, but taking in a million refugees, even if poorly planned, was a huge act of generousity. The EU has been a bit of a disaster on refugees but it has still been a lot more welcoming than the UK.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jan 18th, 2017 at 05:20:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would dispute that it was generous as the motivation was to serve German interests (of the company owner kind mostly), but it sure was positive for the refugees, who deserve all the help they can find.

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Gandhi
by Cyrille (cyrillev domain yahoo.fr) on Wed Jan 18th, 2017 at 08:15:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would dispute that there was any plan or decision at all.

I used to believe that Merkel's decision to help a few thousand stranded refugees triggered the wave of hundreds of thousands that came after. But I stand corrected. The wave was well underway, anyway. They were simply surprised like a deer in headlights. The German government was overwhelmed by the wave that had been swelling for years though they should have seen that coming. Merkel acknowledged as much, saying she wished that they could go back in time and be more prepared. But in the same speech she proceeded to defend her 'decisions' as right. That is a double bluff.

First, the notion that there was a conscious decision. Nobody wakes up one day and thinks that we need a million asylum seekers this year. The truth is more disturbing than that: it was a near total loss of control. But still many people (pro and contra) think that a million people were deliberately let in. Why is that impression allowed to linger in the public discourse? Because Merkel still wants the Mother Theresa bonus? Because the truth would set off even more negative atavistic responses?

Secondly, the notion that we will definitely 'make it' aka "Wir schaffen das!" a subclause uttered in a press conference that was hyped by the press to the levels of a national motto. This is an actual bluff out of a motivational training seminar. It's obviously not black and white. There will be success stories, disasters, and everything in between. But the sheer numbers, the culture shock problems, the inadequacies of the system etc. will produce a large permanent new underclass along ethnic lines. A very unhealthy development for society. The bluff was predicated on the idea that long-standing social problems would be solved in short order because... now it's urgent?!

In light of that, the British attitudes look totally selfish, indecent, cynical, inhuman, and, I hate to say, somewhat rational.

Schengen is toast!

by epochepoque on Thu Jan 19th, 2017 at 06:42:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is allowed to linger because the worst look for a government is irrelevancy. And the positive side effect of Merkel's undeserved humanitarian aura is that you can now vote for humanism and Angela Merkel or Conservative values and the CDU. With one cross.
And given the lack of funding at the local level we mind amend it to "Wir schaffen das, solangs nichts kostet."
by generic on Thu Jan 19th, 2017 at 07:13:48 PM EST
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Bearing in mind that the EU (/Schengen area/Eurozone) is a hybrid entity with institutions and mechanisms entirely inadequate and often unfit for purpose, these contradictions are going to be shown up every time there's a crisis.

Examples : Currency with no economic convergence nor governance. Borderless travel zone with no coherent external border. Etc.

Merkel came up against that when a million refugees/migrants are trying to get to Germany (or preferably Sweden, but Germany will do). In a crisis, you improvise. Crisis = opportunity, so yeah, a demographic rejuvenation and cheap labour force probably came into it too... but I sincerely believe that, had she not opened the border, there would have been massacres further east.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon Jan 23rd, 2017 at 08:17:10 PM EST
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Which is why I take the view that whatever the proximate motivations, the inadequacy of the planning and institutions, and the problems that a large ethnic underclass will create, Merkel's actions (or inactions) did have the effect of mitigating a huge humanitarian crisis.  She is going to be pilloried for it by the hard and not so hard right.  So I don't think the left should be too churlish about giving her some credit.  There is no easy way to absorb a million traumatised refugees.

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by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jan 23rd, 2017 at 08:39:04 PM EST
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