Merkel’s Mess

September 17, 2015

“More than 4 million refugees have fled Syria since the war there began in 2011. According to the UN’s refugee agency, almost 1.8 million have gone to Turkey, more than 600,000 to Jordan and 1 million to Lebanon – a country whose population is just 4 million. “refugee

By signalling Germany is willing to accept up to 1 million refugees the tide of migration has headed towards Germany; the dangerous journey this involves, Germany’s Angela Merkel must take responsibility for.

The solidarity and partnership model of european cooperation has been torn to shreds by this crisis. Once again unilateral decisions by Germany translates cooperation and partnership into the newer model of forceful compulsion of member states to cooperate and partner with Germany on its unilateral decision-making process.

In contrast to Germany’s policy for mayhem, the UK has adopted a more cautious and enlightened approach:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/07/david-cameron-refugee-crisis-response-parliament

“…. the former international development secretary Andrew Mitchell called for a “massive diplomatic effort” to allow for the creation of two safe havens in Syria to shelter the refugees. Military forces from Britain and other countries from the EU and the Middle East, acting under a UN chapter seven mandate, would protect the safe havens that could be based near the Turkish border in Idlib and Daraa province in the south-west of Syria by the border with Jordan. This would involve enforcing a no-fly zone.

In contrast to Merkel’s policy of ‘fools rush in’ pouring toxic fuel on the crisis that encourages families to undertake perilous and dangerous journeys to arrive at German borders that now have an open and closed policy erratically closing in consequence of overwhelming numbers, the UK has adopted a more measured approach.

Mitchell told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We need a serious effort now to protect the millions of people who are on the move in this second world country where up to half the people of the 20 million population are now either over the border, heading for Europe, dead or displaced.”

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/02/refugees-welcome-uk-germany-compare-migration

There are 2 aspects to this crisis. The first is the reality of perhaps millions deciding to become refugees with intent to flee from oppression and violence to pursue a better life for themselves and their families. The second is the actual movement and perilous forced march nature of escape from oppression.

The best way to deal with the crisis is through cooperation among nations including Russia, EU, US and the UN to stabilise the politics of Syria and bring agreement and immediate ceasefire to warring parties.

Inducements such as aid to redevelop the economy, health and education systems should arm negotiations. A disarmament Treaty that would not be welcomed by arms sellers. Emergency crisis talks should be convened at the UN which appears to do little to nothing. Obama has already signaled the solution to the refugee crisis should focus on solving conflict in Syria.

The other aspect to this tragedy is the movement of people. Up to 4 million Syrians amongst other nationalities represent this growing and moving tide of humanity.

refugee-map-2

“They tried the shores of Libya, the islands of Greece, and the plains of the Balkans. Now it has emerged that Syrians fleeing civil war have found another route to the safety of Europe: the Arctic Circle.

Dozens of Syrians have trekked to the far north of Russia this year in an unlikely bid to reach a little-known Arctic border crossing with Norway. Up to 20 Syrians a month are then crossing into the tiny Norwegian town of Kirkenes,”

Perhaps the sight of thousands of army trucks/ships and other means of transport sent by Angela Merkel to the borders of the Balkans and across to Turkey to transport refugees safely to Germany might give observers food for thought, but this would be one way to address the health and safety needs of refugees.

Instead it would appear Angela Merkel is hiding behind the Schengen Agreement assuming refugees will get safe passage across Europe at their own expense in the form of an extended holiday journey road trip. Germany has now closed its borders thus breaking Schengen and its promise to receive refugees.

Merkel has shown no concern at the plight of such refugees as they endure incredible danger on the way to hoped for safe havens in Germany or elsewhere.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Agreement

Insufficiently worked out and still unclear Germany’s invitation ignores the reality of upwards of possibly 4 million people on the move from these refugee camps (see map).

refugee-map-4

UK POLICY

In contrast UK policy has been to take a measured approach. Britain has grasped the nettle of the dangers posed by the movement of vast numbers of refugees doing a perilous journey without any safety net in place. Ireland’s response has been chaotic and mindless in comparison.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/sep/07/david-cameron-refugee-crisis-response-parliament

“As the prime minister prepared to make his statement, the former international development secretary Andrew Mitchell called for a “massive diplomatic effort” to allow for the creation of two safe havens in Syria to shelter the refugees. Military forces from Britain and other countries from the EU and the Middle East, acting under a UN chapter seven mandate, would protect the safe havens that could be based near the Turkish border in Idlib and Daraa province in the south-west of Syria by the border with Jordan. This would involve enforcing a no-fly zone.

Mitchell told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We need a serious effort now to protect the millions of people who are on the move in this second world country where up to half the people of the 20 million population are now either over the border, heading for Europe, dead or displaced.”

“The former cabinet minister said Britain would not deploy troops on the ground though he said this should be given serious consideration. “This is not the offensive action by troops that people in Britain sometimes recoil from.” he said. “It is a defensive action. It would need to be done under the UN charter, probably with a chapter seven mandate that allows them to defend themselves … It would need massive capacity to defend themselves.”

A safe haven policy negotiated in Syria and surrounding countries eg Turkey given a ceiling of 6 months to process refugees and direct them to countries wiling to receive them would allow countries to prepare for their reception and provide for their welfare. This would also give time for diplomatic efforts to push to resolve the crisis in Syria perhaps inducing under safety nets those who wish to return. Its clear following a war in Syria now heading for decade long duration, many refugees have given up waiting for end to conflict.

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2015-09/11/europe-syria-refugee-crisis-maps

Merkel’s mess is compounded by the growing crisis on its borders. UNHCR since April 2012 has expressed concern at the behaviour and attitude of Hungarian authorities to asylum seekers.

Concern has been raised at UNHCL level since 2012 on Hungary’s attitude to refugees. Indeed Germany’s ignoring of the contents of this UNHCL document on refugee asylum seekers in Hungary amounts to German provocation of Hungary that could lead to the breakup of the European Union.

Member states of the EU are now in open conflict on how to deal with the crisis. Germany has by comparison shown irresponsibility at best, incompetence at worst with questions arising as to its policy motives that inform the mess.

http://www.refworld.org/pdfid/4f9167db2.pdf

Compounding the mess created by Merkel we have the nonsense ‘partnership and solidarity’ response of Ireland.

Uncritically swallowing the chaos wholeheartedly from Angela Merkel instead of working with the UK on a common and caring structured response based on both the UK’s and Ireland’s opt out of the Schengen agreement, we have contributed to the mess.

According to Joan Burton, we are to accept up to 5000 refugees. Naturally there is no budget allocated for this.

Somewhat like our bailout it appears the policy is the begging bowl where we accept bailout or in this instance accept 5000 refugees and ask for compensation to pay for this later?

Some have proposed using ghost estates to house refugees perhaps creating a District 9 class of untouchables in the manner of an internment camp? No one knows! Our history of direct provision for refugees does not augur well for the welfare of incoming refugees.

What we do know is that government following nearly 5 years in office have failed to solve the homeless crisis, the housing crisis, the renting crisis, hospital waiting lists and a hospital trolley service. Emigration remains at high levels and our unemployment levels are also high. We are in the middle of a homelessness crisis.

Asylum seekers in Ireland have been interned in a direct provision service criticised locally and internationally. Our reputation in this area is not good and the above does not augur well for asylum seekers.

The refugee crisis needs to be addressed in a caring and informed manner by competent policy makers.

Meanwhile war in Syria exacts an even more deadlier price.

till again

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