12 March 2016

Spiegel Online: “The Isolated Chancellor: What is driving Angela Merkel?”

At the end of October, she went to a summit in Brussels involving the countries along the Balkan Route, the trail used by most refugees to get to Germany. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, who built a barbed wire fence around his country to keep out the migrants, was also there. He saw, and enjoyed, seeing Merkel in a fix. He took the floor and said: It is only a matter of time before Germany builds a fence. Then I’ll have the Europe that I believe is right.

Merkel said nothing at first, a person present at the meeting relates. Only later, after a couple other heads of government had their say, did Merkel turn to Orbán and say: I lived behind a fence for too long for me to now wish for those times to return. Merkel, the refugee crisis has made clear, has found the courage to justify her politics with her own biography. She no longer wants to be the woman without a face.

Markus Feldenkirchen & René Pfister

Such simple and powerful message from Merkel! It’s remarkable – and sad – how quickly people forget the lessons of the past once they’re on the ‘right side’ of the wall.

Border controls inside the Schengen zone
Graphic: Moving the Schengen border north

The best evidence that this is the right thing to do: Donald Trump’s opinion of this policy.

The German people are going to riot. The German people are going to end up overthrowing that woman, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump predicted in mid-January. I don't know what the hell she is thinking.

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