Austria today staged a dramatic border protection exercise as it prepares to assume the EU presidency and push for hardline immigration measures as the bloc is gripped by increasingly bitter divisions over the migrant crisis.
Austrian leader Sebastian Kurz will assume the EU’s rotating presidency on July 1 and has vowed to make migrants claim asylum before entering the bloc.
That policy echoes the position of Italy, which has started turning away migrant vessels and proposed setting up processing centres in Libya and other countries of origin.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is also locked in a struggle with her hardline government coalition partners that threatens to topple her government, and a summit between EU leaders on Sunday made little progress on tackling the crisis, reports the UK Express.
Meanwhile, Spain’s willingness to accept migrants appeared to be wavering today after prime minister Pedro Sanchez said there needed to be a ‘common answer’ from ‘various countries’ in the EU.
It comes after the country’s economic development minister, Jose Luis Abalos, said yesterday that Spain would not offer docking to the NGO boat Lifeline, which is carrying 230 migrants, explaining that his country will not ‘become the sea rescue organization for all of Europe.’
Kurz fears if Germany unilaterally closes its southern border then other EU nations will follow suit.
Today heavily armed policemen – wearing helmets and body armour while carrying riot shields – were on display to show Germany that Austria is willing to shut its own borders if Merkel’s interior minister follows through with his threat to close the Bavarian frontier.
Thousands of migrants poured through Europe’s open borders daily three years ago, triggering a humanitarian and political crisis that has left deep divisions on the continent.
Mr Kurz said there would be consequences if Germany followed through with Mr Seehofer’s idea of imposing systematic controls at its borders.
Clearly acknowledging it would lead to more migrants staying in Austria, Mr Kurz said:
“We would then have to do everything in our power to avoid Austria being overwhelmed and to protect our country in the best possible way.
“That means we would – at least – take the same measures at our borders. Which would lead to a certain domino effect.
“This would lead to a certain dynamism along Europe’s borders – but with all the negative consequences, such as traffic jams and the closure of internal borders in the European Union.”
The EU’s invasion crisis: Populist governments drive calls for tougher stance on closed borders
The barbarian invasion has become an urgent political issue across Europe in recent weeks following the election of a new government in Italy and a split in Angela Merkel’s ruling coalition.
Europe took in more than a million invading barbarians from the Middle East, Balkans and Africa – in 2015 and has taken in hundreds of thousands since.
The issue still sharply divides European governments and has led to a surge in political movements across the continent that are opposed to masses of invading barbarians.
Italian voters comprehensively rejected mainstream parties in March elections, empowering the right-leaning League party and the anti-establishment Five Star Movement.
The League’s leader, Matteo Salvini, became interior minister and began turning away rescue vessels and demanding greater solidarity from reluctant fellow EU states.
Countries that have taken in large numbers of invading barbarians want other EU countries to share the burden, particularly Germany.
Other states, however, point out that Berlin unilaterally opened its borders to invading barbarians in 2015, thus attracting huge numbers of barbarians into the EU without the assent of the bloc’s membership.
Germany, meanwhile, is struggling to keep its coalition government afloat after Merkel’s interior minister, Horst Seehofer, said he would shut the Bavarian border if a solution was not found over the invading barbarian crisis.
Eastern European states, which have taken in among the smallest numbers so far, refuse to accept any more and have turned the issue into a central focus for nationalist governments.
Leaders of the European Union failed on Sunday to come up with a joint position to tackle the invasion and will try again at a summit at the end of this week.
Meanwhile Spain, which earlier this month took in 630 invading barbarians from the French aid ship Aquarius after Malta and Italy refused it, appeared to wobble in its commitment to welcoming barbarians.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez was asked during a visit to Berlin whether Spain would offer safe harbour to another invading barbarian ship, Mission Lifeline, which has been stuck off Malta since Thursday with 234 invading barbarians aboard.
He replied that Spain would be part of the ‘common answer’, but added that the solution ‘has to be European, it has to be from various countries’.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
June 29th, 2018