Destinations Magazine

Europe Starts Putting up Walls

By Stizzard
Europe starts putting up walls

“WE WILL manage,” said Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, in an attempt earlier this month to win public support for the refugees streaming into the country from the Middle East via the Balkans. Her phrase was both optimistic and familiar—it comes from the German version of the theme song of “Bob the Builder”, a children’s television series.

But within two weeks, on September 13th, Mrs Merkel performed a volte-face that stunned the European Union. Because Germany could not “manage” the influx of asylum-seekers and migrants, she reimposed controls along the border with Austria, accelerating an already galloping crisis. Austria, Slovakia and the Netherlands followed suit with controls of their own. They are said to be temporary and legal under the Schengen agreement that sets up free travel in most of the EU. And so they may be. But the crisis has a life of its own.

Hungary declared an emergency, sealed its border with Serbia with barbed-wire fences and began arresting those trying to cross. Police fired tear gas at them; 20 officers and many refugees were hurt. Growing numbers of refugees are now trapped on the Serbian side and have…

The Economist: Europe


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