Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
A short note from Austria: I think the positive reaction here isn't carried exclusively by civil society. What preceded this is that the old law for housing refugees was a federalist mess with everyone in position to point the finger at someone else. The PR catastrophe of pictures of refugees sleeping in the open ultimately led to the governing coalition and the Greens passing a constitutional law allowing the federal government to overrule local objections to refugee accommodations. That was quite an investment of political capital that would turn into a PR liability if the general mood turned hostile.
At least that is my explanation why the state broadcaster runs features on the positive influence the refugees have on Austria's economy. I mean it is perfectly true that money spent on feeding people doesn't just vaporize. However that was also true when they were very impressed by silly deficit reduction plans.
Overall I'm not complaining.
by generic on Wed Sep 16th, 2015 at 11:06:48 AM EST
But the ministers of the ÖVP (the conservative member of the Grand Coalition) achieved a similar feat as their Bavarian siblings: now there are border controls, too, even though Austria won't send back anyone to Hungary (recognising that it isn't a safe country).

BTW, two numbers I just read:

  • Refugees registered passing through Austria from 5 to 12 September: 50,000 [note: this is significantly less than the number arriving in Germany]
  • Refugees passing through on 13 and 14 September: 17,000

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Sep 16th, 2015 at 11:17:50 AM EST
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Oh yes. I watched the interview. I'm still embarrassed. She actually was faced with the obvious questions: What is the point if no one is sent back? What does she mean Dublin is still in effect? She says the army can control the green border while the army and the defence minister say they can't. Not that there was a way to gracefully deflect those questions...

Meanwhile there was a lot of talk about coordinating with Angela Merkel from the government. Which I read as our government fully intending to hide behind her skirts even if this means doing patently silly things like pretending to close the border.

by generic on Wed Sep 16th, 2015 at 04:37:30 PM EST
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