Gerd Müller (shown), Germany’s federal minister for economic cooperation and development, warned in a January 9 statement to Bild, the country’s largest circulation newspaper, that only 10 percent of the migrants heading to Europe have arrived and that eight to10 million more are on their way.
An English translation of Müller’s statement to Bild was quoted by Britain’s Daily Mail:
The biggest refugee movements are ahead: Africa’s population will double in the coming decades. A country like Egypt will increase to 100 million people, Nigeria 400 million. In our digital age with the Internet and mobile phones, all know about our prosperity and our way of life.
That widely known prosperity has made Germany a favored destination for migrants fleeing turmoil in place like Syria, Iraq, and Libya, and it has taken in more than half a million of these refugees, more than twice as many as the next-highest European Union nation — France. However, in September, Germany finally reached it limits and blocked train traffic from Salzburg, Austria, to stem the tide. Germany’s Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière, in a statement announcing the change in policy, said that “Germany is temporarily introducing border controls again along [the EU’s] internal borders.... The aim of these measures is to limit the current inflows to Germany and to return to orderly procedures when people enter the country.”
Müller complained that “The protection of external borders is not working. Schengen has collapsed. A fair distribution of refugees has not taken place.”
The Schengen Agreement, to which Müller referred, was originally signed in 1985 by five members of what was then called the European Economic Community — a predecessor to the EU. The Schengen area now includes 26 European Union countries, extending from Scandinavia to the Iberian peninsula, and from Iceland to Greece. A key provision of Schengen area rules is eliminating internal border controls with the other Schengen members, while strengthening external border controls with non-member states.
When Interior Minister de Maizière announced on September 13 that Germany was temporarily introducing border controls against its own borders, the policy change represented a suspension of the Schengen Agreement. De Mazière explained that the new restrictions were partly necessary for security reasons and added: “This step has become necessary. The great readiness to help that Germany has shown in recent weeks ... must not be overstretched.”
De Mazière also explained that the Schengen area rules allow the reinstatement of border restrictions in cases of crisis and national security.
Of course, the fact that a supposedly sovereign nation such as Germany should have to adhere to “rules” to decide what type of border controls are necessary is an indication of just how much national sovereignty EU members have surrendered to the EU’s governing authorities in Brussels.
In warning about the huge upcoming influx of migrants, however, Müller did not propose a closed-borders policy by the EU, but instead advocated making provisions for the refugees’ welfare. He urged Germany to invest in “education, training and prospects” to deal with the arrival of desperate refugees.”
He continued: "People are fleeing hunger, misery, violence, and they see no future for themselves and their families.”
Indicating that he considered the arrival of the migrants as inevitable, Müller said: “But we live in a globalized world. We cannot build fences around Germany and Europe. When people suffer, they will come.”
The Daily Mail reported that Müller called on European countries to create a 10-billion euro fund to assist refugees who arrive in Europe from the Middle East and North Africa.
He also said that Turkey, the first EU nation that migrants enter on their trek toward Europe, has reached its capacity to accommodate them, and needs the three-billion euro fund it has been promised by Europe that has not yet been delivered.
However, Müller also warned against Germany accepting too many more migrants, saying that it would be impossible to integrate them all into German society unless there is a reduction in their numbers.
Photo: Gerd Müller