With up to 6,000 people pouring into Greece each day, EU leaders will rake over what has gone wrong with the bloc’s response and how to cut a deal with Turkey, which has become the main stopping-off point for people trying to enter Europe.
The much-vaunted plan to contain asylum-seekers in Italy and Greece before distributing 160,000 across the bloc has been sluggish. Despite months of planning, only 147 have been relocated since it was approved in September.
The scheme was the subject of bitter political argument between Germany, which backed it, and its eastern neighbours, who opposed it. Now it is being hindered by everything from the reluctance of national capitals to provide the places, IT failures on the ground and even asylum-seekers’ point-blank refusal to take part. (Last week’s flight to Luxembourg was the second attempt after a previous group turned down transit to the Grand Duchy).
As chancellor Angela Merkel comes under pressure from within her own party, Germany is banking on a deal with Turkey to stem the flow of migrants from the Middle East. Berlin, along with the European Commission, has led overtures to Ankara, bearing promises ranging from €3bn in aid to Schengen visas for Turkish citizens.
With winter approaching, Mr Asselborn [Jean Asselborn, migration minister for Luxembourg, current holder of the EU’s rotating presidency] seemed to grasp the need to make progress, both for the EU’s overburdened member states and the thousands of migrants on the road.
Slovenian Soldiers Erect Razor-Wire Border Fence to Stop Migrants
Just yesterday a new fence came into play as Slovenian Soldiers Erect Razor-Wire Border Fence to Stop Migrants.
Trucks carrying wire fencing arrived in the Slovenian village of Veliki Obrez close to the border with Croatia, with large numbers of soldiers and police guarding construction equipment.
About 180,000 people, many fleeing war in Syria, have entered Slovenia since mid-October, when Hungary erected a razor-wire fence along its southern border that forced migrants to divert westward.
Austria said last week it would build barricades at its border with Slovenia, while Hungary began installing its razor-wire barrier — up to 13 feet in height — along the Serbian border in September.
Still More Refugee Math
Instead of fencing off the key entry points, a cascade of fences is developing everywhere else.
Germany is banking on a deal with Turkey with promises ranging from €3bn in aid to Schengen visas for Turkish citizens.
That is pure rehash of a plan that cannot possibly work. Besides, Turkey long ago rejected as being insufficient.
Between 2 and 2.5 million Syrian refugees are in Turkey. And there are another 75 million Turks that just may decide they would rather be in Germany.
Merkel should be grateful Turkey turned down he offer. Instead of 2.5 million Syrians who may want in, 75 million Turks may want to relocate.