This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Desperately Coping and Dialling Back

"This is the signal we've been waiting for in the past few weeks.  The turning point from a borderless welcoming culture to a culture of sense and proportion."
Johanna Miki-Leitner, Austrian interior minister

"We'll look at Mr. de Maiziere's latest announcement objectively and evaluate it on its own merit."
"What does not work is the zero communication from the interior minister."
Thorsten Schafer-Gumbell, deputy chairman, Social Democrat Party
German police guide refugees after they crossed the border from Austria.
Berlin decided against setting up ‘transit zones’ for processing refugees on Germany’s borders with Austria. Photograph: Kerstin Joensson/AP

"If you don’t have good control of who is coming here – what people are actually entering the county – that is a risk."
"I’ve been mentioning burden sharing for a long time. It is not sustainable that one country, or two countries, take the vast part of the responsibility. All European countries need to take responsibility. If the European Union can’t handle this situation, it’s serious."
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven  
Cars arrive from Denmark at the Swedish border. Officials stressed that anyone seeking to apply for asylum in Sweden would not be turned back.
Oresund bridge between Sweden and Denmark. Officials stressed that anyone seeking to apply for asylum in Sweden would not be turned back. Photograph: Sven Rosenhall/Getty Images/Nordic Photos
There it is; from open borders, no questions asked and all their needs to be provided courtesy of the German and the Swedish taxpayer, to reversion to EU rules stating that asylum seekers must remain in the first EU member-state where they initially appear. Proof of their entry point is their registration. Registration is supposed to take place. But migrants aren't entirely stupid; most take steps to avoid registration, leaving no evidence of where they've entered Europe.

And making every effort to expeditiously travel to the country of their choice. And the choices haven't been very complicated; the three countries that have stated generously and openly that they are prepared to take in all comers - Germany, Austria and Sweden -- have by their very declarations, spurred new waves of refugees and haven-seekers to make the break with their countries of origin and seek a new life for themselves, one that offers the plenty -- in safety and opportunities -- that their countries of origin do not.

Germany, Austria and Sweden already have absorbed a huge number of refugees in the past. So much so that their culture is being diluted beyond the point of recognition, and their welfare institutions are being strained beyond the point of coping. The police have been busy, not only with keeping abreast of the violence that some migrants bring with them, including rape, but also the reactions of their indigenous populations, including the torching of refugee centres.

Moreover, the health care system is being strained beyond capacity, running out of wards in hospitals, running out of vaccines to treat diseases not seen in the Western world in decades. And nor is there lodging capacity to match the need of the tens of thousands flooding in to Europe and in particular the three countries voluntarily bearing the brunt of the haven-enthusiasts, going where the welfare opportunities are the brightest.

Initially, the populations of the countries felt themselves to be exceptionally compassionate and generous, but the crush of newcomers is relentless and the growing threats to their own comfort and societal conventions are now beginning to heavily concern those generous souls, alarmed at the fading presence of all that is familiar and dear to them.

So, now that Germany and Sweden have declared they will be a little more stringent over who they will accept, and now that they are considering deporting those who don't qualify, they are no longer so openly generous, mindful of the backlash that is building from among their populations. This return to the rules sounds impressive, but it is at this point an act of desperation from administrations driven to distraction by the surging humanity they can no longer deal with.

Most of those refugees and haven seekers arriving in Germany took care not to register in other countries, leaving no evidence of where it was they first entered the EU. And that being the case, the new determination is somewhat void. 

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