In what should be perfectly obvious (but isn’t to Germany and Sweden), EU’s Refugee Policy Helps People Smugglers.
Europe is running a “people-smugglers’ promotion programme” that is “massively overburdening” several countries, Austria’s foreign minister has warned.
Urgent action should be taken to control the EU’s external borders, Sebastian Kurz told the Financial Times, and an “honest” message should be sent to make clear the migrant rush is too great.
“There is a massive overburdening, not only in Austria but in other countries such as Germany and Sweden,” he said. “It cannot continue as it is.”
The minister’s comments highlight rising alarm in Vienna, which has found itself on the front lines of Europe’s migrant crisis, and could presage fresh clashes with Berlin over its response.
Responding to public anger, Vienna this week announced tougher rules on asylum seekers wanting their families to join them in Austria.
Rather than encouraging unhindered inflows, as some accuse Berlin of having done, Mr Kurz said asylum applications should be assessed at the EU border or further afield. Those likely to be successful could then be distributed fairly among member states. “What we’re doing at the moment is indirectly running a people-smugglers’ promotion programme,” he said.
Mr Kurz also took aim at efforts by EU leaders, including Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, to appeal to Turkey to curb the numbers crossing into Greece. It was “hypocritical”, he argued, for EU countries to imply they were welcoming refugees while behind the scenes relying on Turkey to block their entry.
Last week Johanna Mikl-Leitner, the ÖVP interior minister, revealed plans to build a fence on the border with Slovenia. Her comments raised concerns because they appeared to threaten the reimposition of EU internal border checks. Mr Faymann had previously criticised Hungary for building a fence on its borders.
Parade of Fools
At the head of the “not getting it at all” parade are German Chancellor Angela Merkel, EU head Jean-Claude Juncker, and especially Stefan Löfven, Sweden’s prime minister.
Please consider Stefan Löfven Rebukes Eastern Europe Over Refugee Crisis.
Stefan Löfven, Sweden’s prime minister, rebuked some central and eastern European governments for what he termed a selfish approach to the EU’s refugee and migrant crisis, saying their attitude was incompatible with humane European values.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Löfven said: “I can understand it if you say this crisis is a worry. But to say: ‘This isn’t my problem, we can’t accept Muslims’ — no, I don’t think this is part of our European values, and I can’t understand this kind of attitude.”
Sweden, a country of 9.6m people, is anticipating the arrival this year of up to 190,000 asylum-seekers, the largest per capita inflow for any EU country and more than twice as many as forecast only five months ago. More than 86,000 people have already sought asylum in Sweden this year, the greatest number of refugees since 1992, when the country provided refuge for 84,000 fleeing the Balkan wars.
Unusually large numbers of the refugees — about 30,000 to 40,000 — are expected to be children or youths travelling alone, adding to the pressure on Sweden’s comprehensive social welfare system.
“This is putting pressure on Swedish society,” Mr Löfven said.
Crazy Response From Sweden
Kurz is correct about the hypocrisy, but his plan, although somewhat better than the current free-for-all, still misses the mark.
Löfven, on the other hand is from Mars. The pressure on Sweden is due to Sweden’s inane policy. This is not about Muslim discrimination. This is about policies in Germany and Sweden that actively encourage people smuggling. It is also about economic refugees shopping around for the most benefits.
The countries offering the most free benefits are Sweden and Germany. Every country between Turkey and Germany or Sweden has to suffer the consequences of overly generous benefits in those two countries.
There are millions of refugees in Turkey. If Germany and Sweden want those refugees, then Merkel and Löfven should airlift them in. I bet several million would apply for asylum in the first week of an airlift announcement.
I outlined a strategy for dealing with the refugees in Austria Announces Fence With Slovenia; Irony of German Whine; Cascading Fences; Mish Proposed Strategy.
In my post Former Australia Prime Minister Chastises EU on Securing Borders, Economic Migration; Mish for President Review I made a few changes.
Here is my proposal to date.
Mish Proposed Strategy
- Block the border between Greece and Turkey
- Stabilize Syria, even under Assad, but also seek promises of free Syrian elections
- Eliminate the free handouts
- Return economic refugees to point of entry
- Give Turkey some aid for US/UK role in this mess
- Halt all US support for alleged “moderate” Al Qaeda rebels. Instead, arm the Kurds now fighting ISIS.
The key point is that once the refugees fled Syria to any other country but especially Turkey, the refugees had already escaped persecution as well as the Syrian civil war. Thus, any travel beyond Turkey was for economic purposes only. On those grounds it is reasonable to deny every refugee’s application.
So, instead of building fences all over the place, creating a multitude of bottlenecks while still encouraging people smuggling, the EU should build a fence in Greece and shut off the flow entirely.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock