Angela Merkel has done it again; not sure if it is pure deception or naivety at this point. She managed to convince many that the EU deal with Turkey would actually decrease the number of refugees entering Europe. Yet, Turkey was claiming that they too would not see an increase in migrants. Someone is going to be disappointed and my guess is that it won’t be Recep Erdogan.
The deal Merkel sold to Europe was this: 1) All “irregular” non-Syrians entering Greece after March 20 would be sent back to Turkey. 2) For every Syrian refugee sent back to Turkey from Greece, one Syrian already in a Turkish camp would be sent to an EU member state. This is pretty clear that, even if things went as perfectly as planned on paper, there had to be an increase in refugees to Europe. How? Do the math. Irregulars arriving after March 20, even if all were sent back (which will not happen), is NOT A REDUCTION since they were not in Europe before March 20th. This is neutral at best. Secondly, a new Syrian refugee from Greece (who was also not in Europe before March 20) sent back to Turkey would be exchanged for a new Syrian refugee from a camp in Turkey (who was also not in Europe before March 20). You may have to read this a few times, but rest assured, this so-called “one for one” can only mean more refugees for the EU. If this sounds complicated, it was meant to be that way. Merkel presented this deal right before the elections in Germany and she was desperate to portray this as some sort of “tough” solution that entailed reductions via deportations.
One might argue that it at least “cuts down” (not a reduction) on the number of arrivals, but this would be disingenuous. There is no logic to keeping the borders open for new arrivals (they still are coming to Greece) and then “hoping” to deport later. Already, many migrants who arrived after 3-20 have disappeared, and some are charting boats from Greece to Italy. Smugglers have already advertised trips from Turkey to Italy on Facebook. Italy is not covered under the deal and while their border remains open, thousands of new migrants are sailing in from Libya and elsewhere. The numbers will swell as the weather warms. More additions, not reductions. Albania, with many Muslim sympathizes, will also be a problem.
The early results from this deal are also not promising. The first two days saw eighty new Syrians sent to the EU from Turkey, and only two Syrians (voluntarily) sent back to Turkey. This is not “1 for 1” but “40 to 1”. Again, these are net additions for the EU, not neutral swaps. As I suspected, Greece is not strong enough to deport. Erdogan has no such reservations, as proven by his actions to flood Europe with migrants over the past year.
And the 6,000 (and counting as we speak) “irregulars” that arrived in Greece after 3-20 that Merkel claimed would be sent back to Turkey? A mere 202 were sent back Monday, mostly from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. But now Greece has stopped (as more migrants arrive daily with weather improving) and might get started again on Friday. It seems 3,000 or so have all decided at once (attorneys and activists at work) to suddenly apply for asylum in Greece. Here we go again, more additions. One gets the feeling that the EU is an organization of self-abuse.
Lastly, this deal solves nothing as pertaining to the 1.8 million migrants that arrived in Europe before March 20. Many are pure migrants, and some no doubt terrorists that traveled with the refugees. Many arrived without documents or with fake passports (there is no punishment for this) and are now roaming Europe. Germany has lost track of 50% of the migrants in their country. They just disappeared along with over 10,000 children. Criminal gangs are everywhere recruiting. This is a chaos. OpenBorders is an abomination that exposes the security of European citizens and the true refugees themselves. It has to end, with or without Merkel and Germany on board.
In May, the EU and Merkel will once again introduce a permanent and binding refugee redistribution system that will attempt to force all EU members to accept migrant quotas. This will be Merkel’s last stand, for she has no other cards to play. She will never agree to real reductions or sealing the external EU border. This is (and always was) her EU solution.
The Visegrad4 and central-eastern European states must draw a Red Line on quotas and defy Angela Merkel. If they surrender, Europe will be lost. If they are victorious, the Merkel Era will be over and they will emerge as the new leaders to take back Europe. As they say in sport, the one with the greater will and determination prevails.
Good night, good luck and fight hard Visegrad4; your children are counting on you!