Some of the richest people in the world gathered in Davos, Switzerland yet again this week for the World Economic Forum, but the topics under discussion quickly veered away from the normal program as representatives of many nations grappled with the Syrian refugee crisis. We shouldn’t be terribly surprised, since you can’t mention Europe these days without the subject of the mayhem being caused by the flood of migrants coming up. As you might expect, there were two distinctly different camps engaged in the debate, with some referring to the new Syrian and Iraqi settlers as an economic opportunity, while others saw things in much darker terms, predicting the demise of Europe as we know it. (Yahoo News)
“We have a few weeks to concretely deliver our options… otherwise you have country-by-country solutions (and that is) the beginning of the dismantling for sure,” Emmanuel Macron, the French economy minister, told an audience of billionaires and business leaders.
The incessant flow of now over one million refugees to Europe from war-torn Syria and Iraq has handed the EU yet another crisis, following last year’s debt battles with Greece and the face-off with Russia over Ukraine…
Macron’s bleak assessment followed a warning by Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who said Europe only had six to eight weeks left to solve the refugee problem.
“When spring comes and the numbers quadruple, we cannot as the EU cope with the numbers any longer,” Rutte said.
You know things are getting bad when even George Soros thinks there are too many immigrants.
George Soros, the 85-year-old financier and one-time refugee, told a dinner of big players that the numbers of migrants were now dangerously high.
“We have passed a tipping point where the influx reduces the capacity of the countries to assimilate or integrate the refugees,” he said.
“There is panic (in Europe),” he said darkly.
Oddly enough, this is the same George Soros who was insisting in November that the EU must take in one million refugees per year, saying that national borders in Europe were an obstacle to solving the crisis. But open borders are becoming an increasingly unpopular subject around the table in Europe these days. At the same time that the meeting of the rich and fabulous was taking place in Davos, Angela Merkel came under a fresh round of attacks from her erstwhile allies in Bavaria who are pushing to close the borders.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel looked ever more isolated over her open-door policy on refugees on Saturday as it emerged that the leader of her party’s Bavarian allies suggested this week she had become impervious to other people’s views on the issue.
“Chancellors in an advanced stage of their office only believe in themselves,” Horst Seehofer, leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU), told a party meeting on Thursday during a discussion of Merkel’s refugee policy.
Merkel is sticking with her immigrant policy for now, but it may wind up costing her dearly. She’s not up for election again until 2017, but it looks increasingly like her conservative coalition is falling apart, almost entirely due to the refugee crisis. Of course, it’s not helping her public relations initiative when headlines keep cropping up every day about protests and the outrageous actions of the new arrivals. One story making the rounds involves a group of migrants yet again sexually assaulting women at some public baths and masturbating in a swimming pool.
One last item of note takes place well to the south, where Greece is being threatened with temporary expulsion from the Schengen zone unless they can get their border control situation in line.
Junior interior minister for migration Yiannis Mouzalas said the report contained “falsehoods and distortions” but Mikl-Leitner said temporary exclusion was a real possibility.
“If the Athens government does not finally do more to secure the (EU’s) external borders then one must openly discuss Greece’s temporary exclusion from the Schengen zone,” Mikl-Leitner said in an interview with German daily Die Welt.
“It is a myth that the Greco-Turkish border cannot be controlled,” Mikl-Leitner said.
“When a Schengen signatory does not permanently fulfil its obligations and only hesitatingly accepts aid then we should not rule out that possibility,” she added.
The vast majority of the migrants have been arriving by boat, raft or any other floating device from Turkey and washing up in Greece. From there they head north, with a lot of them landing in Germany. It’s rather curious that the EU is ready to give Greece the old heave ho for not shutting down the flow of immigrants even as the rest of the EU fights over how they should be welcomed. Helping the refugees seems to be one of those things that’s great in theory but not so wonderful when the harsh realities set it. And if the immigrants are not interested in adopting the culture of their new home, the problems will only continue to stack up.
Are we watching the end of the European Union right now? If it was going to fall apart I’d always assumed it would be from a financial collapse, such as the one threatened by Greece last year. I never imagined that a border control panic could lead to their disintegration.