Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
Interior ministers of German states: "You open the borders and desert us!"
The words emergency and crisis are not to be used. But the interior ministers agree across party lines: the situation is dramatic, the refugee processing system in Germany is maxed out.

The hardship of the crisis workers increases daily and the atmosphere grows more irritated. The interior ministers admitted: we are at the limit. Five telephone conferences were conducted between Thursday and Friday, the mood was loud, irrascible, ...

"Are we agreed that we have reached our limits and soon cannot receive refugees anymore?" asked a participant on Thursday after some gruff arguments. No one dissented. Worse yet, an official said "We are flying a plane that's running out of fuel and we don't know what to do."

The states are under the impression that the federal government opened the door for refugees with much publicity but are left alone to deal with the consequences. "You open the borders and desert us!" a participant angrily accused state secretary Emily Haber. She admitted "a new situation" after Austria let the refugees pass. Angry herself, she countered "You are responsible for sheltering."

That is factual but doesn't help. The assessments of the last two days were disastrous.

  • Only two states had spare capacities. 850 in total. The 14 other states said they were full.
  • Compared to the 40,000 people expected this weekend, the capacity currently being created is minimal. Brandenburg ... 50 and 100 spots... Hamburg 150 spots and Niedersachsen 300.
  • Hessen and Schleswig-Holstein complain about trains full of refugees that drive without warning towards Frankfurt and Kiel.
Addtionally, there are disquieting news from abroad:
  • In Greece between 2,000 and 4,000 people go from the islands to the mainland. Registration is practically suspended.
  • UNHCR is counting 40,000 refugees at the Serbian-Hungarian border.
  • The Greek-Macedonian border is crossed daily by 7,000 people.
  • The Bavarian interior ministry reported that Austria has lost control. A "coordinated effective handover from Austria" is no longer possible.
  • The German embassy in Afghanistan was said to have reported there were signs that the government issued a million passports that would enable travel to Europe.
In public, officials strive to avoid words such as "chaos", "emergency" or "catastrophe" for the current mess. No one wants to endanger the support by thousands of volunteers.

... Army has built 16,000 spots ... much more not possible.

... States are not only lacking spots and decision makers. A lot of cities can't adequately supervise under age refugees... fast communication about the routes of the migrants are lacking. "If we can't handle this crisis then Europe will fail" says deputy CDU parliamentary group leader Thomas Strobl.

If the registration procedures are so chaotic or noneffective then I fear we'll be getting another long-term political poison pill. If people don't bother to register and just go to their friends and families first then we'll have the specter of the 'illegals' as a permanent political force in this country, just like 'economic refugees = moochers'. In the US it has made a rational political discussion about immigration reform impossible for decades. Even now it's a goldmine for orange-haired Donaldo Trump.

If the coming cold doesn't deter people much, then expect the EU ministers to throw their hands in the air and close down borders.

Schengen is toast!

by epochepoque on Fri Sep 11th, 2015 at 10:52:25 PM EST

Others have rated this comment as follows:

Display:

Occasional Series