The welcoming attitude towards refugees in Germany suddenly ended as indicated by the decision to reinstate controls on Germany’s borders.
Angela Merkel is known for her long and thorough contemplation before taking important decisions. Before settling on a strategy, Merkel usually prefers to let the problem simmer. Instances where Merkel had to take decisions under pressure often ended in her regretting it. We have seen that back in 2011 when Germany changed its nuclear power policy to assuage the public’s fear after the Fukusima Daiichi nuclear incident, but instead got a huge problems with energy industry which lead to rising utility prices.
The current refugee crisis seems to develop in the same scenario.
Last month, Merkel took a decision that guaranteed Syrian refugees an asylum in Germany regardless of the country from which they came to Germany. But the local officials had a somewhat lukewarm attitude toward this plan and complained they did not have enough time to prepare. And now they are the ones who say to Merkel: genug ist genug (enough is enough).
Merkel did not expect that the announcement would have such a massive response. That is actually the reason why local governments were not involved into the discussion of the decision to temporary freeze the Dublin system rules. Welcoming Germans flooded shelters with donations, volunteered on the railway stations and in the camps, offered all kind of help to the asylum seekers. But once refugees started to get to Munich, Frankfurt am Main and other large cities, it became clear that the situation was out of control.
The first to tell about his doubts about Germany’s ability to cope with the situation was Horst Seehofer, the governor of Bavaria. Merkel responded saying that she did not regret her decision. But on the next day, almost 20,000 refugees arrived at Munich and that was much more than the town was expecting. Local businessmen started to worry that the crisis would impact the Oktoberfest festival.
Other towns and communities also began to feel the consequences of the influx. The system of allocating the migrants faced an impending collapse. Some of the states simply refused to accept more refugees.
Before abandoning the Dublin system, Germany expected 800,000 refugees. Now the number of Syrian migrants can increase up to one million.
Late Saturday, Merkel agreed to renew border controls. Officially the decision was named a tactical one to push other countries to take more refugees. In reality, it seems that Germany simply couldn’t cope with the situation.3 comments