Her phrase was both optimistic and familiar-it comes from the German version of the theme song of “Bob the Builder”, a children’s television series.
“Hubs like this are necessary” to organize the huge logistical operation, Merkel said.
The fact is that, though Germany is overtaken by Hungary, Sweden and Austria on the metric of asylum applicants per million people, they have the highest percentage of the European Union total and German bonds are used far more as collateral for the Repo market (the market for repurchase agreements) than Austrian or Hungarian bonds.
Do Germany and the EU Commission understand that people in Africa and the Middle East have access to social media, and that their message, of open doors, and of generous state support, will motivate many more to come? Also, when European Union leaders meet US President Barack Obama at United Nations headquarters, they should compel him to take in some of the refugees despite the USA administration’s reluctance to do so. The cascade of events is likely to continue.
Ms Merkel said, after meeting Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann, that “we must try to restore a European spirit”. A day earlier the EU’s interior ministers had failed to reach agreement on a plan proposed by the European Commission for a binding quota system that would allocate 120,000 refugees among member states.
Interior minister Thomas de Maiziere expressed regret at Mr Schmidt’s decision, saying he had “done an excellent job” and praising his “extraordinary commitment” in the post he had held since 2010. These permit renewed frontier controls as a “last resort” where there is “a serious threat to public policy or internal security”. Most headed directly for western Europe.
Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, has cut a chequered figure this summer: scorned for taking Greece to the wall, and praised for welcoming large numbers of Syrians to Germany. She must also have been aware that the truly incredible , heart-warming welcome by over half the German population might, under the weight of numbers, go into reverse, providing new strength to the ever-menacing xenophobes, Islamophobes and other far-right racists. Station staff said on Monday that the rail border had reopened, leaving many in confusion about whether they could travel or not. Germans bearing flowers and candies turned out to welcome them. For one thing, Eastern Europe (I’m using the term to distinguish these countries from places like Germany and Austria although “Central Europe is generally preferred.) has relatively little experience with large-scale immigration and until recently was generally considered a source of migrants rather than a destination”. But Mrs Merkel is trying to retain her position as a champion of refugees.
“We want to help those in need of protection”, she said, while reiterating that authorities would “send back” those who came to Germany for economic reasons.
She is haunted by the spectre that European Union countries could fail in their greatest humanitarian challenge yet, thus betraying their own values.
NEW PATHS: Following Hungary’s move, migrants already in Serbia began moving west into Croatia, seeking a new entry point into the Schengen zone – either through another Hungarian border crossing or through Slovenia. Unsurprisingly many Eurosceptics are celebrating.
“Schengen surely can’t survive now”, Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party said on Twitter on Sunday evening.